Global controls technology company Proserv and fellow Scotland based power system monitoring specialist Synaptec have come together to undertake a gruelling physical challenge in early June to spotlight the importance of mental wellbeing, generate greater awareness and discussion of this topic and raise significant funds for two leading UK charities – Mental Health UK and Mind.
The 600-mile event featuring 32 cyclists, with 28 from Proserv and four from Synaptec, will set off from Proserv House in Westhill, Aberdeen on June 7 and will roll into Proserv’s Centre of Excellence in Great Yarmouth some six days later on June 12, hopefully raising £100,000 in the process.
The participants will average an impressive 100 miles per day and will come together from as far afield as Trondheim in Norway and Abu Dhabi in the UAE. A cross-section of employees will take part, with representatives from engineering, business development, finance, operations, project management and seven members of Proserv’s senior management team including CEO, Davis Larssen.
The inspiration for this bold and imaginative event initially came from Proserv’s Aberdeen based Projects & Engineering Manager Bradley Savoldelli: “The idea just took shape naturally. Proserv has always sought to raise money for local charities and support wider good causes and I am part of the internal group that helps create and promote these activities.
“I was actually cycling home one day and thought – you know, what about an epic cycling challenge to bring colleagues together across the country which would be fun yet challenging and most importantly would raise money for vital mental health organisations.”
He added that cycling allows him personally not only to do something physically healthy but to “zone out for a few hours from my day-to-day responsibilities and to direct my focus on the distance, and the satisfying achievement, ahead”.
Bradley Savoldelli is one of a number involved in Proserv and Synaptec’s 600 Miles for Minds initiative that has been motivated by seeing the impacts of mental health issues on family or friends.
Simon Harvey, Proserv’s Vice President, Quality, Health, Safety and Environment, can often be found on two wheels along the highways and byways around the company’s Great Yarmouth Centre of Excellence and he was one of the first to sign up. But, aside from the anticipation of undertaking the 600-mile test, he also has clear reasons for his commitment to this challenge:
“I am delighted to be part of the organising committee for 600 Miles for Minds. I would always jump at the chance to compete in a charity cycling fundraiser as the activity can be such a great promoter of mental and physical wellbeing. But there is a critically important issue at the heart of this event.
“We recognise and prioritise positive mental health at Proserv as much as we can, and we continually encourage the benefits of talking to someone, reaching out and sharing any problem or anxiety. Being able to speak about how we are feeling can potentially make a powerful difference.”
Proserv and Synaptec revealed initial details of this cycle ride earlier this month on Mind’s Time to Talk Day, a national drive to accelerate and promote dialogue around mental health.
Many of the 32 cyclists are hard at work putting in the training miles in preparation for June’s six-day marathon. One of those is Senior Software Engineer at Synaptec Morris Kelly, who observed: “Supporting mental health is such a worthwhile aim, and such an important issue. It’s a cause close to me, which immediately prompted me to say yes to the event. All wellbeing, particularly mental, needs to be protected. Anything we can do to shine a light on this topic, and to raise much-needed funds at the same time, is excellent. The 600-mile cycle ride will be a tough challenge, but I’m already deep into training and looking forward to it.”
Proserv’s CEO Davis Larssen added: “This is a great initiative and I am proud of the team that has come together to organise this. Mental health issues can affect anyone and there can be a variety of triggers. So, encouraging people to know they are not alone and that help and assistance are readily available is critical. Come June 12, I may be a little sore but knowing we have helped these essential charities will more than compensate!”
To donate, follow training progress and access further dedicated rider pages, please visit: https://www.givewheel.com/fundraising/2192/600-miles-for-minds/