Cycle challenge launches for the British Heart Foundation and Mind


Laing O’Rourke has launched Hearts and Minds, a cycle challenge with two leading charities, to highlight the positive impact physical health has on mental wellbeing. The partnership with Mind and The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has come together for Mental Health Awareness Week (14-18 May) and aims to raise £160,000 in the process.


CEOs from Mind and BHF Paul Farmer and Simon Gillespie, joined Laing O’Rourke’s Director, Declan McGeeney, at the Tideway project today to launch the challenge. More than 1,400 employees, supported by clients and supply chain partners, have signed up to collectively cycle the distance between Laing O’Rourke’s offices in Dartford, Kent and Sydney, Australia, a total of 21,000 miles. 

A number of the organisation’s UK project sites and offices have invented ways to help complete the distance. The MPT team working on the Trafford Park Line in Manchester has organised a 64-mile “Tour De Metro” that will take in 27 of the 64 Metrolink stops they have built or, are currently still constructing. A team from the Jaguar Land Rover project in Warwickshire will be cycling across the Peak District, covering 500 miles over the weekend. 

Static bikes will also be established in places such as Birmingham New Street concourse, as part of the East West Rail Alliance team effort, so members of the public can take part and contribute to the challenge. 

Silvana Martin, Health and Wellbeing Leader at Laing O’Rourke said: “We are aware of the impact physical exercise has on maintaining our mental wellbeing and this is something we champion as a company. Hearts and Minds has brought together different parts of the business and has helped us create partnerships with two important charities. We want to make 2018 our healthiest yet and in doing so, raise money for those who offer so much support to those who need it.”

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “We are hugely grateful to Laing O’Rourke for choosing Mind as one of the charity partners to benefit from Hearts and Minds. Their support over the course of this partnership will allow us to continue to be there for people who need it, when they need it the most and to fight to make sure that everyone with a mental health problem gets the support and respect they deserve. Money raised over the course of the partnership will help us provide vital support for people, including the Mind Infoline, our advice services and the campaigning Mind does to secure a better deal for the one in four of us who experience a mental health problem every year.”

Nigel Cole, Partnership Manager at the BHF, said: “We’re delighted to team up with Mind and Laing O'Rourke. It’s fantastic to see so many people taking part and this week promises to be one to remember. The money raised will help fund ground-breaking research into all heart and circulatory conditions and their risk factors – including heart disease, stroke, vascular dementia and diabetes – and it’ll spare more families the heartbreak these conditions cause.”

Laing O’Rourke recently won a Silver Award in Mind’s second annual Workplace Wellbeing Index for its ongoing commitment to creating a positive culture around mental health and supporting employee wellbeing. 

To donate, please visit Laing O’Rourke’s Virgin Money Giving website: