The Costain 150 Challenge

Author: Tom Cleary

So, I have taken on the responsibility of leading the Costain 150 Challenge and coming from being a Civil Engineer on site to this has been a bit of a culture shock! Although the task ahead is massive, I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and really making a difference. I see this as not only an opportunity of raising a lot of money for some fantastic charities, but also as a chance to create a legacy, a lasting bond between the Company and the four charities involved. Be that a companywide change in our approach to heart health, increased awareness of how much of an impact even the smallest donation can have on the level of support provided for cancer sufferers and those around them, a new army of volunteers to man the phones for people suffering with depression or as a mentor and guide to young people who might not have the same choices in life to create a better path for themselves.

The charities the Costain 150 Challenge will support are four of the country’s biggest charities and the work they carry out is phenomenal, but they can always do with a bit more help. Here is a few of the problems the charities face today:

British Heart Foundation

  • Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer
  • An inherited heart condition has a 50/50 chance of being passed on
  • Symptoms are often difficult to spot until it’s too late
  • It does not just effect overweight middle aged men
  • £180,000 could help find a cure for heart disease by funding the complete costs of a research project for three years


  • Nearly 300,000 people a year are diagnosed with cancer
  • Estimated that 1 in 3 people will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime
  • Over 200 types of cancer
  • Prostate cancer (24%) is the most common for men, breast cancer (31%) for women and leukaemia (31%) for children
  • £200 can help pay for a nurse for a day, helping people living with cancer and their families

Prince's Trust

  • Approximately 20% of young people aged 16-24 are unemployed
  • Youth unemployment costs £10million a day in lost productivity
  • Youth crime costs £1billion every year
  • Many helped by the trust are in or leaving care, facing homelessness or mental health problems or have been in trouble with the law
  • Many of those helped grow up without a choice or a mentor or someone to guide them down the right path or show them that there is a choice
  • Costs £1million a week to run the programmes


  • 5981 counts of suicide in 2012
  • 4590 male and 1391 Female
  • 4 out of 5 people that call do not feel suicidal
  • Support network of 20,000 volunteers take calls on issues such as; relationship and family problems, financial issues, depression, loss of someone close
  • £20 allows 5 calls, texts or emails to be answered from someone in need

The challenge we face to help to fight some of these problems is huge, which is why we need your help. We need enthusiastic individuals from each project, office or framework who are willing to take up the challenge and lead from the front to reach our target of £1million. So, if you want to be part of our team of Costain 150 champions or have ideas or suggestions for ways to raise funds, please do comment below and let us know how you plan to make a difference.