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Telecoms firm raises £20,000 for mental health charities

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The peloton of Excalibur staff who rode from Portsmouth to SwindonThe peloton of Excalibur staff who rode from Portsmouth to SwindonTelecoms and IT solutions service provider Excalibur has raised £20,000 for mental health charities with its Round the World in 80 Working Days cycling challenge.

Staff from Excalibur and Techs4Education joined together to cycle 18,000 miles, following a virtual version of the route completed by endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont in 2017.

For every mile completed, Excalibur has donated £1 into its charity fund and, as a boost to motivation, gave £2 per mile for the last 2,000 miles cycled.

With six spin and gym cycles set up at Excalibur’s HQ and a 74 mile Portsmouth to Swindon bike ride organised for the most ambitious, more than 90 percent of Excalibur employees took part in the fundraising challenge.

For the enthusiasts, weekend miles were measured and counted too. Five members of staff achieved over 1,000 miles each.

The challenge was well supported by local suppliers and partners who joined the Excalibur team for a Community Day to add some miles to the overall score. Cotswold Outdoor and Owayo provided equipment for the Portsmouth to Swindon peloton.

Family and friends of employees played their part too, contributing some serious miles at the company Friends and Family day held in July. This brought the overall number of challenge participants to 118.

Every year, Excalibur staff choose and nominate charities they would like to raise money for, with fundraising initiatives being match funded by the company.

This year employees chose to raise funds for IPSUM and a number of local mental health charities. With an average age of 32 across the business, the fundraising team is placing an emphasis on helping those organisations who provide services for young people.

IPSUM, has been serving the Swindon community since 1974, supporting the wellbeing and stability of clients through talking and creative therapies.

Chief executive Peter Boucher said: "It’s great that so many people at Excalibur have got involved with our Round the World in 80 Working Days Challenge. It’s quite some feat and amazing to think that Mark Beaumont achieved this cycling solo.

"he team here has really entered into the spirit of this year’s fundraising activity. I think it’s because we’re all becoming more aware of the importance of mental health and maintaining a balance in our lives.

"We have also had support from our suppliers and partners who have come into the office and built up some miles. A big thank you to every one who has taken part.

“With one in four people experiencing mental health problems during their life time, we all know it could affect any one of us, a family member or colleague, at any time. Excalibur is keen to support those organisations that assist people in managing or overcoming their mental health difficulties with the respect and support they deserve.

"IPSUM is experienced into doing this, and works in a way that is particularly appealing to young people. Its therapies encompass music, art, creative writing and meditation.”

Excalibur is taking steps to implement new strategies to recognise the signs of poor mental health among its staff. This includes mental health first aid training for staff and managers.