PHD Global Business set its employees 11 challenges – each one to be completed in 11 minutes – to provide £11 for food and hygiene packs to refugees living in harsh lockdown conditions in Cyprus. These people, many of them women, have no employment, state support or any other means of supporting themselves.

Eve Linieres, a trustee at Refugee Support Europe, said: “Thanks to PHD’s 11 / 11 / 11 challenge raising over an incredible £1,000 in only three weeks, we at Refugee Support have already been able to provide 90 food and hygiene packs, including face masks to refugees and asylum seekers living in lockdown in Cyprus. Each pack costs £11, so every person involved in this challenge has directly impacted one person, literally helping them to survive, at a time when it seems they are at the bottom of the ‘care’ list with everything else going on right now.”

The 11-minute challenges have been:

  • Create something artistic
  • Cook or bake something
  • Clean or tidy an area of your house
  • Do something physically active
  • Take 11 photos of things around you that you love
  • Create an advert for one of the things you took a photo of
  • Share the donation page with 11 contacts
  • List 11 things you are grateful for
  • Make a TikTok
  • Spend 11 minutes doing whatever you want, non-work related

The final challenge was for everyone to write a letter to a refugee in the Dignity Centre in Nicosia. PHDers were charged with channelling all they had learned during the challenges – the value of time, community, mindfulness – into their letters. The aim was to encourage and inspire the refugees, and most importantly, let them know they are being thought of and cared for during this exceptionally difficult time.

Melissa Cosentini, Business Director, EMEA Planning for HP, PHD Global Business, commented: “Those who participated looked forward to it every day; we learned a lot about each other, and the value of community, which mirrors the effort that Refugee Support makes continuously to help those in need.”

For more information on Refugee Support, please visit their website

If you wish to donate to the PHD Big Hug initiative for Refugee Support, please click here