HSBC Great May Escape plans

HSBC UK’s Great May Escape will help change veterans’ lives

Dan Hodges General

HSBC UK workers have pledged to help change veterans’ lives this summer by stepping up to the challenge of The Great May Escape, a month-long fundraiser focused on wellbeing.

Colleagues at the bank have committed to their own personal challenges in support of veterans, with an energetic array of activity throughout May. HSBC’s community of fantastic fundraisers are seeking sponsorship at

Funds raised through the challenge will help to change the lives of wounded and sick veterans through employment support from The Poppy Factory. It has helped hundreds of people move back into work since the start of the pandemic and will help many more in the months ahead.

2,402-mile challenge

The journey planned by HSBC's Bounce Back loans teamAmong the bank’s fundraisers is Carrie Taylor-Mell, who has set an ambitious goal alongside her colleagues in the Bounce Back Loan team. Together they plan to cover a distance of 2,402 miles by walking, running cycling and other means – equivalent to a return journey from the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to the former Stalag Luft prisoner of war camp in Poland, site of the original Great Escape.

Carrie said: “It is a good distance but we’re confident that as a team, we’re going to make it. I’m doing it all on foot alongside my children and my dog, and I’m going to walk at least 100 miles in May.

“A key motivating factor for me is that my husband is currently serving in the Armed Forces and we have lots of friends who are veterans. We’ve seen first-hand some of the consequences that can come from serving in the military, and we know how much of a positive impact employment support can have on a person’s wellbeing.”

Geting active to boost wellbeing

HSBC’s Military Network is also getting behind The Great May Escape, and the campaign features on the bank’s Get Active Hub as part of its Spring into Summer challenge to boost physical, mental, social and financial wellbeing.

Here’s what Sarah Heavey has to say about her experience taking part in the Spring into Summer challenge championing donations to The Poppy Factory: “As a veteran myself, the Poppy Factory is very close to my heart.  The work they do with supporting service leavers, especially those with physical and mental scars, is nothing less than phenomenal and I feel very proud to work for an organisation that not only supports such a charity but encourages its staff to do the same.

“As part of the Spring into Summer Campaign, I decided this was an opportunity to take better care of my own physical and mental health whilst also raising money as part of The Great May Escape and am running/walking 5k every day in May.  I am really enjoying it and if I’m honest, a 5k run/walk every day is almost like a habit to me now so I will hopefully continue this even once the challenge is over.”

Alice Barrett, Partnerships Manager at The Poppy Factory, said: “We’re so grateful to everyone at HSBC UK for rising to the challenge and committing to The Great May Escape. The funds raised by HSBC UK really will help transform veterans’ lives, helping them make a fresh start through employment.”

To support veterans into employment by sponsoring HSBC UK’s Great May Escape, visit

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