770 mile challenge for phs staff


Staff from Caerphilly-based hygiene services firm phs Group are on a mission this month to raise hundreds of pounds for a mental health charity.

While they may be based at different locations across the company, seven members of the phs team have signed up to take part in June One Ten – an initiative to run 110 miles each across the month of June. Between them, they aim to clock up in excess of 770 miles and raise more than £600 for the Mental Health Foundation, a national mental health charity using research, evidence-based information and community programmes to help prevent mental health problems.

Taking part are Kelly Greenaway, 36, and Kate Lewis, 26, Andy Kelly, 58, Jay Stewart, 35,  Rachael Haydon, 25, Naomi Childe, 40, and John Davies, 29. The challenge was inspired by John, a phs engineer, who completed a 100-mile solo running challenge in May, fundraising for the Mindstep Foundation.

Kelly, Senior Brand and Marketing Communications Manager at phs Group, of Caerphilly, said: “John’s achievement in running 100 miles in one month was incredible and inspired all of us to set our own trial. Everyone is being mentally challenged at the moment with the Covid-19 crisis and, with people feeling isolated and lonely, it’s more important than ever to raise awareness and talk freely about mental health. Jogging and other keep fit activities can really be helpful and beneficial, keeping active to balance the amount of time spent at a desk working from home. Feeling healthy can really boost how you feel, give you more purpose, self-awareness and promote a happier mind. We also know that charities are feeling the financial strain at the moment and we wanted to contribute towards raising vital funds to ensure they can continue their efforts.”

Half way through the month, the team has collectively run 380 miles and is committed to completing the challenge – despite the weather.

Chris O’Sullivan, Head of Corporate Partnerships at the Mental Health Foundation said: ‘We‘re delighted to have the support of such a dedicated group of phs staff, running for us this month. Running 110 miles in a month is no mean feat, especially in lockdown. Exercise has played a key role in protecting people’s mental health during the lockdown, and this challenge is something that will benefit the runners and the people they inspire as they go. Every penny helps us to respond to the mental health challenges the coronavirus pandemic has posed, and to build our work to protect and improve mental health across the UK.”

Kelly continued: “Everyone has their own running plan so there is a mixture of small runs throughout the week and then longer runs at weekend. At first the heat was challenging as it was so hot but now we’re all getting soaked by the rain. Time is another challenge, particularly in a busy job and when you have a small family but we’re all trying to stick to a regular routine and it’s helping us keep healthy, active and happy – something we hope to inspire others to do too. We also want people to spread awareness about the importance of mental health and to know that it’s okay to talk about it.”

For more information, about phs, visit the phs website and follow @phsGroup on Twitter and phs Group on LinkedIn