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Galvanizers Reach New Heights to Raise Mental Health Awareness

Two employees from Merseyside Galvanizers have reached extreme heights on their mission to raise awareness and funds for mental health.

On 2nd September 2023, Richard Smetham, Sales Manager, and Richie Harland, currently a Galvanizing Operative at Merseyside Galvanizers – part of Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd – embarked on a charity tandem skydive, alongside friends and family Hayley Westbury, Sam Jones and Kavan Burgess.

Driven by very personal motivation, it was part of a wider challenge to raise awareness of mental health, as well as fundraise for the Mental Health Foundation.

Richard said: “Richie is a very good friend and colleague of mine – always easy going, positive-minded, and going above and beyond, at work and in life. Following a six-month period of setbacks and dark times, he attempted to take his own life in January 2022. Despite being able to read the signs due to my own previous struggles and doing everything I could to try and help, I couldn’t stop the impact on his mental health.

“Luckily, I was in the right place at the right time, and Richie is still with us. Through help and support from family, friends and colleagues over the past 18 months – as well as Wedge Group providing him adequate time and assistance to help towards his recovery – he is returning to his old self.

“To celebrate our friendship, and Richie’s recovery, we decided to complete a charity tandem skydive. We’re incredibly grateful to all those who pledged donations, which allowed us to smash our original target, and kept us motivated when the realisation of falling 15,000 feet sunk in…

“It was a truly exhilarating experience – we were measuring speeds of around 153 mph during freefall – but I’d absolutely love to do it again.”

At the time of the sky dive, Richard and Richie had raised £2,055. For their commitment and dedication to the cause, Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd matched the funds raised, totalling £4,120 to be donated to the Mental Health Foundation.

Chris Woolridge, Managing Director at Wedge Group Galvanizing, added: “A massive well done to Richard and Richie – they both should be immensely proud. Not only have they raised a substantial amount to be donated to a very worthwhile cause, but their strength, determination, and friendship absolutely shines through. It’s admirable to see how they’ve shifted what was an incredibly tough time into such a fantastic achievement, and will have made a very real and positive difference to other people supported by the Mental Health Foundation across the UK.”

Merseyside Galvanizers Ltd is part of Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd, the largest hot-dip galvanizing organisation in the UK with a history dating back over 150 years. With 14 plants strategically placed across the country, the firm offers a truly national galvanizing service.

By Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd

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