The SSAFA 13 Bridges Challenge: PHD Access Takes London by Storm

Published: Jun 29 2023

PHD Access embarked on an unforgettable adventure for the SSAFA 13 Bridges Challenge in London on Saturday 24th June to celebrate Armed Forces Day.

PHD Access embarked on an unforgettable adventure for the SSAFA 13 Bridges Challenge in London on Saturday 24th June, as employees embraced the excitement of exploring the city’s iconic bridges along the majestic River Thames. The event proved to be a remarkable experience, with participants celebrating the camaraderie, persevering through the challenge, and taking in the breathtaking sights that London has to offer.

The day dawned with bright sunshine and pleasant temperatures, setting the stage for an exceptional journey through London’s architectural sights. We arrived early at Trinity Square Gardens in Tower Hill, and after a seamless check-in process, we were eager to start the day.

PHD Access assembled an impressive group of participants for the SSAFA 13 Bridges Challenge, led by Danny Dwyer, the Managing Director. Joining him were Sofia Angulatta, the Marketing Executive, Dean Ashcroft, Senior Estimator, and Dean’s wife Tracey. Harry Borley, the HSEQ Advisor, and reservist Rhys A from the 94 Berkshire Yeomanry Signal Squadron also contributed to the team’s success. Guiding the group throughout the challenge were Lt Col Jon Bowman from the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, and Pte Max Fish, combat medic from the 256 London Field Hospital, who both provided invaluable leadership, support, and general banter on the day.


The route was a perfect blend of exercise and sightseeing, with participants crossing 13 iconic bridges, including the famous Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Millennium Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Albert Bridge, and Battersea Bridge. At every turn, our team paused to take in the remarkable landmarks that adorned the cityscape. HMS Belfast, London Eye, Elizabeth Tower & Parliament, Shakespeare Globe, Battersea Power Station, Tate Modern, and St Paul’s Cathedral were just a few of the awe-inspiring sights.

The finishing line awaited us at Eel Brook Common in Fulham. Crossing the threshold of accomplishment, we felt an overwhelming sense of pride and satisfaction. The sound of drums, bagpipes, cheers, and applause echoed through the air as we celebrated the successful completion of the challenge. Our collective efforts showcased the strength and resilience of PHD Access as a team.

We completed the challenge in an impressive 3 hours and 48 minutes, proving that with dedication, teamwork, and a positive mindset, we can overcome any obstacle. Our perseverance was rewarded with a sense of fulfillment and memories that will last a lifetime.

Danny Dwyer comments about the day:

“ I found it to be an excellent event and really enjoyed the opportunity to see some of the iconic buildings and structures which we have worked on over the years from a different perspective. I would encourage anyone who hasn’t done the 13 Bridges Challenge to sign up and look forward to next year!”

Reflecting on the day’s achievements, PHD Access recognizes the importance of fostering a strong sense of camaraderie and promoting a healthy work-life balance among its employees. The SSAFA 13 Bridges Challenge provided the perfect platform to strengthen bonds, encourage physical fitness, and showcase our determination to succeed.


SSAFA stands for Soldiers’, Sailors’ & Airmen’s Families Association, and is the oldest Armed Forces Charity, having been founded in 1885.

SSAFA helps the armed forces community in several ways, though their focus is on providing direct support to individuals in need of physical or emotional care.

Addiction, relationship breakdown, debt, homelessness, post-traumatic stress, depression, and disability are all issues that can affect members of our Armed Forces community. Many of these problems only become apparent when an individual has to leave their life in the Forces and join ‘Civvy Street’. SSAFA is committed to helping the brave men and women overcome these problems, and rebuild their lives.

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