In April 2016, Mark Stephenson, CEO of PWS, will lead a team of four veterans, PWS colleagues and support staff, on a demanding 320-mile cycle ride across the mountainous Western Cape of South Africa. The challenge, aptly named Blood, Sweat & Gears aims to raise £250k to further the fabulous work provided at Phoenix House, the Help for Heroes Recovery Centre at Catterick Garrison.

Mark has been a regular supporter of Help for Heroes over recent years, through the donation of adapted kitchens to two Recovery Centres, as well as hosting vocational training at PWS to help veterans in their employment resettlement. Through regular visits to Phoenix House, Mark has experienced first hand, the charity’s valuable work and was inspired to go the extra mile for the charity … 320 miles in fact, encompassing over 18,000ft of punishing climbs!

The route has been chosen to challenge the capabilities of able-bodied and injured participants alike and will require several months of focused training in preparation. Blood, Sweat & Gears represents a significant physical challenge to the veterans, some of whom will be riding recumbent bikes due to their injuries. As well as providing an important point of focus for their personal journeys of recoveries the money raised from the challenge will help fund health and psychological wellbeing activities and programmes to enable many more veterans to benefit in the coming years.

Mark Stephenson, CEO at PWS, comments: “Help for Heroes delivers an immense amount of support to our veterans, who have suffered in the service of their country. The role of the Recovery Centres is key to this, inspiring those who have been wounded, injured or become sick and enabling them to lead an active, independent and fulfilling life. Their job will never be finished, the demand for the vital work they do will continue so it’s important to maintain the awareness and carry on fundraising. Once I had the spark for the idea for Blood, Sweat & Gears, it quickly became a reality.

“The route includes seven mountain passes and will test riders mentally and physically so we will have the support of a medical team to ensure everyone rides over the finishing line safely and with a smile on their face. I hope everyone who reads about our challenge will be inspired and help us achieve our fundraising target by making a donation to help those who have given so much. 

“I will be joined on the ride by John Lennon (MD), Jonathan Whisker (FD), Oli Stephenson (area sales executive) plus there is an opportunity for another member of staff at PWS to be part of the team,” concludes Mark.

Follow the progress of Blood, Sweat & Gears through on facebook at, twitter @sweatandgears_ and to donate JustGiving bloodsweatandgears2016.