Peter Hayward

Operations Manager

I was honoured when I was asked to be a member of the "StrongMen" team.

In 2018 I retired after 30 years in the Prison Service, prior to this I had spent 6 years in the military. Just before retiring I took the decision to train to become a therapist. I did this because after these 36 years I realised that people who work in these professions find it very difficult to talk about how they feel and the experiences they’ve had, and I found this particularly true for men in general.

In 2012 I was diagnosed with PTSD and subsequently undertook a course of therapy. I found this to be really helpful and in hindsight wish I had accessed these services earlier. This fuelled my ambition to become a therapist, where I now specialise in trauma.

In 2014 my father in law, Spencer was killed in a road traffic accident on the M1. Someone had attempted to take their own life by jumping from one of the bridges over the motorway. Spencer, being an ex-policeman, saw the incident and immediately pulled onto the hard shoulder and started organising cars that had stopped to block the motorway. Once he considered it was safe to do so he made for the person and commenced CPR on them. An impatient motorist not realising why the traffic had come to a standstill wove their way through the parked cars and subsequently ran over both Spencer and the person who had jumped, killing both of them. The sentence they received for this was negligible and my family was left to pick up the pieces of this tragic death. Spencer received the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery for his action that day for which we were truly proud, but this did little to lift the sense of bereavement and loss.

In many ways to ‘hide’ from what I was feeling, I immersed myself during both my time in the military and in the Prison Service in physical training completing a number of marathons and Ironman Triathlons. My hobby at the moment is kettlebells and I coach both hardstyle and sport kettlebells. I have the honour of representing England in Kettlebell Sport and am the current UK record holder for the Veteran Biathlon and Snatch disciplines. I am also a qualified Yoga teacher and specialise in Yin Yoga. Even now, I find that if I can’t do any physical training for whatever reason, it really affects my mood and outlook but that is a work in progress.

I feel extremely proud and honoured to be the Operations Manager for StrongMen. It is a fantastic and essential charity. The ethos it promotes of brotherhood and companionship and support is second to none and I think it is a real privilege to be a part of it.

Peter Hayward
Operations Manager

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