Staff from life and pensions provider Phoenix Group embarked on their own extreme fundraiser in aid of corporate charity partners, London’s Air Ambulance and Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. Four members of staff ran 140 miles between the Group’s London and Wythall based sites, along the Grand Union Canal. In addition two members of staff cycled the distance, providing essential support to the team throughout the challenge.

Executive Management Team members, Simon True and Steve Fawcett participated in the first and last leg respectively, helping to make the event a Group-wide fundraising spectacle. Captain Neil Jeffers from London’s Air Ambulance also joined the first leg of the challenge.

Team members prepared themselves with a gruelling training programme in the weeks leading up to the challenge. Between them they are accomplished marathon, triathlon and Ironman competitors, but wanted to participate in their own extreme challenge, raising valuable funds for future life-saving air missions.

Onsite staff joined forces to wish their colleagues farewell at the start point in London and a welcoming party was formed at the Wythall site a few days later. The team set out with a fundraising target of £5,000, which was exceeded. Any monies raised will be matched by the Group. Staff sponsored their colleagues in addition to participating in a company raffle.

Kully Chohan, Grand Union Challenge organiser and participant commented: “The Grand Union Challenge aims to raise a substantial amount of money for the air ambulance charities, helping them to save more lives on a daily basis. The distance we are covering is the equivalent of 5.4 marathons over 4 days, so is very much a personal endurance challenge.”

Spokesperson on behalf of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and London’s Air Ambulance, commented: “The Phoenix Group partnership has been fundamental to our ability to grow our fundraising income and we are staggered at the level of commitment shown by staff. The Grand Union Challenge demonstrates yet another example of just how far staff will go to help the cause.“


Missions completed since 1991: 50,563 | On average we airlift a child every four days | Road traffic collisions make up around 35% of the incidents we attend | The service airlifts on average four horse riders each week.