Burgess' 5,000-mile charity challenge raised funds to help the International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) to set up the Yacht Crew Help service: a free, confidential 24-hour multilingual support hub open to all superyacht crew.
The need for this service was identified in a 2018 superyacht crew survey conducted by ISWAN. It found that 80 percent of women and 54 percent of men reported one or more episodes of work related stress, 82 percent always, often or sometimes experienced low morale and 55 percent of female respondents struggled to access mental health support.
Following this survey ISWAN set up a steering group of representatives from across the superyacht industry, including Burgess, to help shape the Yacht Crew Help service.
'From the outside, it's easy to imagine that the life of superyacht crew is highly paid and endlessly glamorous,' says Lucy Medd, Fleet Crew Manager for Burgess Crew Services. 'The reality is extended periods away from friends and family, very long hours in a high pressure environment and living on top of each other all the time.
'Like any other walk of life,' adds Lucy, ' there will be incidents of bullying, sexual harassment and substance misuse, to name but a few, and this service gives crew of all nationalities a safe place to find support for free, confidentially and 24/7/365. We're delighted to have been part of the team that brought this to life and I'm very proud of the mud, sweat, saddle sores and throbbing toes the crew on Burgess-managed yachts and the Burgess team endured to help fund it.'
The challenge, which took place on 18-22 May 2020 to coincide with Mental Health Awareness week, began with a 500-mile target but that target was smashed on day one so the more ambitious target of 5,000 miles was set - and also smashed!
Yacht crew, Burgess staff and their families ran, walked, cycled, rowed and raced as no fewer than 44 teams in 14 countries around the world took part. The final total mileage was an amazing 16,865 miles with the winning team, <1.5M>, covering 1,271.5 miles alone. Well done to all who took part and thank you to all who donated.