AFPST Spirit of Challenge

Leonardo is a long-time supporter of the AFPST and encourages staff from across our UK sites to take on their own personal challenge by selecting a sport or activity of their choosing to help raise funds for this highly effective rehabilitation sports programme.

Every year, the UK’s Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team (AFPST) plays a powerful role in the recovery, transformation and personal freedom of wounded, injured and sick serving personnel and veterans. This sporting activity rebuilds their self-confidence and competitive spirit, through snowsport activities.

Throughout 2017, the charity asked its friends and supporters to take inspiration from their extraordinary athletes and embrace the 'Spirit of Challenge'. Leonardo subsequently undertook a range of fundraising activities to support the AFPST 'Spirit of Challenge' campaign, inspired by stories from AFPST's athletes including Jamie Weller, Tiffany Outway, Nerys Pearce, Oliver Thorn and Billy Black.

Money raised provided much-needed funds for AFPST's team of adaptive Alpine skiers, snowboarders and Nordic biathletes.


A team of Basildon employees dressed as their favourite superheroes for the St Luke's Hospice 5km race, to raise funds for AFPST. The runners took their superhero theme seriously, and arrived in very impressive costumes including several Supermen, Cat Woman and Wonder Woman.

David Lloyd managed the fastest time, closely followed by Billy Wright. Marc Bartholomew, dressed as Wonder Woman, was voted winner of the 'best costume' prize. Collectively, the team raised £295.


Bristol Training Administrator, Kelly Smallcombe, braved the threat of grizzly bears as well as 2,830 stairs to scale the 1,127-metre high Grouse Grind – a 2.9km trail run up the face of Grouse Mountain in Vancouver, commonly referred to as 'Mother Nature’s Stairmaster'.

Kelly also organised an AFPST ‘Spirit of Challenge’ summer barbecue in Bristol, with raffle prizes donated by employees helping contribute to a total of £1,065. On 8 August, Bristol staff are participating in a spinathon at a local leisure centre to raise more funds for AFPST.

A six-strong team from Bristol raised £380 for AFPST after completing a 'spinathon' in aid of AFPST. Stephanie Mitchell, Tunde Fazekas, Kelly Smallcombe, Leo Gould, Sam Nicholls and Kris Lipscombe completed 3 x 45 minute high intensity spin classes.


A team of 12 ‘Leonardo Fitbitters’ smashed the usual individual daily target of 10,000 steps, by collectively completing over 1.5 million steps in just 5 days, raising over £2,000 in the process.

Meanwhile, apprentices Scott Leslie, Paul Davidson and David Snedden organised a climb up Ben Nevis. In total, 24 Edinburgh colleagues climbed 1,345 metres to reach the summit of Britain's highest mountain.

Looking to go even higher, another Edinburgh team, comprising Donald Blyth, Iain Wildgoose, Stuart Duncan, Ian Elder, Dave Gourlay, Tim Naulty, Mark Riddell, Andy Sijan, and Dave Usherwood, took on a skiathon, skiing the equivalent of 6.3 times the height of Mount Everest on a dry ski slope. They also produced a video of their amazing exploits.


Farnham and Lincoln employees pushed themselves well outside their usual comfort zone to swim, walk, cycle and run a combined distance of 350km, raising £1,700. The challenges took place at Rutland Water in the East Midlands and Priors Dean in Hampshire.

The team of fundraisers comprised: Brendan McCabe, Martin Robinson-Meech, Tony Binfield, Will Hunt-Vincent, Terry Roberts, Nick Whelan, Andrew Collingham, Danny Boulton, Bryan Goodall, Dave Lord, Eric Cooper, Gus Sparrow, Ian Taylor, James Stewart, Peter Hurst, Steve Page, Julie Palmer, Nicky Barnard, Vanessa Dineen, Emily Prestwood, Faith Vokes, Kelly Gates and Jo Nicholson.

Faith Vokes, Leonardo’s Tactical Systems Marketing Communications Manager, said: "Teamwork is everything, and together we can do so much!"

The Lincoln office also designated 'Weds Dress Down Day', each Wednesday between over a 2-month period, with staff donating a pound on each occasion.


A team of eight, including Trudy Stewart, Rick Worker, Karen Broughton, Andy White, Rob McMillan, Chris Vella, Martin Hull and Dave Robertson, undertook a cycling challenge covering the approximate distance between all of the UK Leonardo sites in 30 days. In total, they cycled 1,260 miles.

Additionally, Martin Fielding donated 50p for every day that he missed going to the gym over a 4-month period.


Mark Hewer, VP Electronic Warfare Operational Support, threw himself wholeheartedly into the AFPST challenge, with his daughter choreographing a street dance for him to perform. However, the full video will only be released when he raises at least £500.

Luton staff also did a skydive.


Robin Smith completed the 42km Snowdonia Triathlon, consisting of trail running, cycling and kayaking.

Not to be outdone, Tim Edwards cycled around the Solent via the six local ferries, completing just over 100 miles in 12-14 hours.

The Southampton Sports and Social Club also organised multiple events including clay pigeon shooting, a tandem sky dive, and an indoor static rowing and cycling event.