The original ‘Rusty Screws’ – Nigel, Michael and Peter – are a group of operational prison staff at HM Prison, who over the past three years have raised over £17,000 for Tŷ Hafan by taking on various climbing challenges. Last year, they decided to hang up their walking boots, or so they thought…

Now they’re back with some new recruits, a new challenge and a goal to raise £5,000, taking their total to well over £20,000!

Nigel shared, “It would seem that although we swear every year that ‘this is the last challenge’, the opportunity to raise more money and to make a difference in these people’s lives is something we just can’t let go of.”

Rusty Screws on the top of Pen y Fan

This time the team, aptly renamed the ‘New Rusty Screws’, are a group of seven (who are also all operational prison staff at HM prison with a combined 163 years of service) made up of Nigel Thomas, 65, Pete Phillips, 57, Rob Foley, 48, Andy Wray, 37, Allan Graham, 58, Kerry Williams, 54 and Tony Noakes, 36.

This June the ‘New Rusty Screws’ aim to complete a 7 Peaks Challenge, which will see them climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, Snowdon, Garnedd Ugain, Cadair Idris, Corn Du and Pen-y-Fan. The challenge will see them cover over 600 miles of driving and 36 miles of walking all within 36 hours!

Nigel shared, “It’s been a number of years since our first challenge and though the mountains seem to be getting bigger (the challenges certainly do!), we’re reminded at every visit to Tŷ Hafan, that it all pales into insignificance in comparison to what so many people are facing in hospice care.

“Being able to provide a glimmer of hope to the staff by means of raising money and it having a positive effect on the children makes everything worthwhile. For all of us, it’s been an incredible eye- opener and the children at Tŷ Hafan have shown us courage that continues to inspire us every second of the day.

Last year, the Rusty Screws were invited to the hospice and presented with their very own leaf on our Ty Hafan Giving Tree, in recognition of their incredible fundraising, “Our proudest moment was getting a leaf on the Tŷ Hafan Giving Tree,” shared Nigel.

“We’d like to thank, as always, the incredible staff at Tŷ Hafan for the phenomenal job they do every single day, regardless of what they’re faced with. Additionally, to the children there also for being the brightest shining kids we’ve ever seen, their courage has been both an inspiration and extremely humbling,” Nigel says.

Sorrel Mayo, Senior Corporate Fundraiser who works closely with Nigel and the team, shared “I don’t think I have ever witnessed such dedication and commitment to Tŷ Hafan as I have seen with this amazing group of guys from HMP Cardiff. I didn’t really believe them (Nigel ‘Torchy’ Thomas, Pete Phillips and Mike Morris) when they told me The Rusty Screws were hanging up their boots and it was to be their last challenge in 2023.

“So, it wasn’t such a surprise when Nigel told me they were doing it all over again in 2024, incredibly, this time with a new generation of not so rusty Rustys. We’re over the moon at Tŷ Hafan that they’re continuing, and it shows how much support they have deservedly gained from the staff and colleagues at HMP Cardiff. I want to say a heartfelt thank you to you all for everything you do and continue to do for the children and their families at Tŷ Hafan.”

We’re wishing the team the best of luck on their latest challenge, and are so grateful for everything they’ve done to support Tŷ Hafan.

If you’d like to donate and support the ‘New Rusty Screws’, you can do so here.