Contact Us
Talk to us about your next project here.
Back To News
Back To News

Oxygen ‘steps up’ for Everest challenge

Russell WBHO team to raise funds for construction mental health charity The Lighthouse Club.

A team of intrepid climbers is set for an epic charity challenge to scale Mount Everest, without actually leaving Manchester. The new 32-storey Oxygen Tower in Ancoats will step in to replace the world’s highest mountain as the dozen Russell WBHO fundraisers attempt to cover the 8,849 metres to the Everest summit.

Each member of the 12-strong Russells team will climb the 604 steps from Oxygen’s 1st floor to the roof eight times, with 96 climbs combining to cover the same distance as a single Everest ascent.

The challenge, which will take place on Sunday May 16th, aims to raise £2,000 for The Lighthouse Club, the construction industry charity which provides financial, legal and mental health support to workers and their families. Russell WBHO last year joined the club’s Mental Health First Aiders initiative and is promoting its awareness campaign among staff and sub-contractors.

Russell WBHO fundraisers in front of Oxygen Tower

Each of the climbers is a Russell WBHO Mental Health First Aider, trained to identify and support colleagues who are struggling. They provide a sympathetic ear and can get further help from the Lighthouse Club which provides a 24-7 Helpline and App along with access to mental health and well-being support, debt and legal advice, and emergency financial aid.

Olivia Lea, human resources manager and one of Russells’ Lighthouse Club Mental Health First Aiders, said: “Every day in the UK two construction workers take their own life, due to stress and depression, injury or illness caused by their work or in other areas of their life.

“That is just so devastating to think how much those people must be suffering, and the terrible aftermath for their families, but there is something we can all do to help thanks to the work of the Lighthouse Club.

“The Lighthouse Club is an amazing organisation which provides genuine help for people in crisis, whether it’s helping with emergency funds to buy food or cover the mortgage or providing professional advice on legal issues, debt or health problems.

“The money that we raise will go directly to helping people who really need it, and to support the campaign for mental health awareness and training for more mental Health First Aiders throughout the construction industry.”

The team taking part involves staff of all levels from right across the business including:

HR manager Olivia Lea, head of Health & Safety Darren Williams, Liesel McQueen, PA to the directors, planner Cianan Hodgkinson, Lisa Cushworth, lead administrator Oxygen, Jack Halewood, Municipal Buildings’ construction manager, Liam Jones, construction manager on the Clayton Hotel in Portland Street, Paul Douglas, contracts manager for Lineage Logistics’ projects, Hanover project quantity surveyor Zarah Muldoon, and Building Student trainees Harry Warburton, Jake Nightingale and Kieran O’Connell.

Manchester-based Russell WBHO is a £160m main contractor with more than 200 direct employees, and manages many thousands of sub-contractors on site every year. Gareth Russell, Russell WBHO joint managing director, said he was incredibly proud of the team’s determination to raise the money.

He said: “The Lighthouse Club is a fantastic charity providing hands on support for people in our industry who are suffering, and the money raised will help continue that amazing work.

“The challenge our team has set is pretty impressive, and I don’t envy them heading up and down 30-plus flights of stairs eight times. But they are a fantastic group of very dedicated, hardworking individuals who deserve to achieve their goal.

“And to show our support, the directors pledge to kick off their fundraising with a £1,000 donation.”

The £80m Oxygen Tower in Store Street is Russell WBHO’s tallest project to date. Designed by Jon Matthews Architects for developer Property Alliance Group, the luxury accommodation scheme is set to complete before the end of the year will comprise 369 apartments, 12 townhouses a spa level with gym and 25m pool.

  • To sponsor the team’s efforts please visit Go Fund Me
  • The Construction Industry 24/7 Helpline 0345 605 1956


  • Date:
    22nd Apr 2021
  • Category: