• Phil Packer

Double Olympic Champion, Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes MBE (mil), supports BRIT and the BRIT Challenge

We are delighted that Dame Kelly is supporting BRIT and championing the annual BRIT Challenge. She has been a long-term supporter of our Founder, Phil, and great friend of our charity.


Dame Kelly is an inspirational role model. Her bravery to talk so openly about her own mental health gives so many young adults the confidence to ask for support and talk openly about mental health.

We were honoured that Dame Kelly attended the reception to mark the founding of BRIT in 201l and, since then, has kindly supported many of our BRIT Challenges to support young adult mental health and fitness throughout the UK.

Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes MBE (mil) - Double Olympic Champion

“With a deep understanding of mental health challenges in my own life, and through the work of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, I know that there are vast number of young adults and students who are living with mental health challenges.

I applaud BRIT for their collaborative approach; their work to unite the Education, Sport and Charity sectors is inspiring. I have known BRIT’s Founder, Phil, for many years now and his vision to support young adult mental health resonates with me both personally and professionally.

It has been a pleasure to support BRIT over the past 10 years, as they have strived to help improve young adult mental health and fitness throughout the UK. I am delighted that the annual BRIT Challenge has been designed to be inclusive so that students and staff of all abilities can take part in many different ways. The BRIT Challenge is a great opportunity for universities, colleges, Students’ Unions and students to enter teams, raise vital funds for local, regional and national charities, and embrace an annual feelgood February fundraiser that promotes mental wellbeing and inclusivity.

I urge my fellow current and retired Olympians, Paralympians and sports personalities to join the BRIT Ambassador family so that together they can inspire and encourage students and staff at universities and colleges across the UK to take on the BRIT Challenge, destigmatise mental health and champion equality, diversity and inclusion.”

Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes MBE (Mil)


Colonel Dame Kelly Holme is a role model and an inspiration. She joined the British Army at 17, serving for over 10 years as a qualified HGV driver and Physical Training Instructor. In 1988 she was awarded an MBE in recognition of her services to the armed forces.

Dame Kelly Holmes MBE (mil) - Honorary Colonel of the Royal Armoured Corps

During a 12 year international career, Kelly won medals at Commonwealth, European, World and Olympic level, culminating in two Gold Medals at the Athens Olympics in 2004 for the 800m and 1500m which cemented her place in history as the first women ever in Great Britain to win two gold medals at the same games. She was honoured with a Damehood in 2005 for services to sport.

Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes MBE (mil)

Today Dame Kelly is a Global Inspirational Speaker, an award-winning author, an entrepreneur as well as a fitness, wellness and mental health champion. Kelly is passionate about raising awareness of mental health. Her own experience led her to learn more and to help others. A trained Mental Health First Aider she continues to be President of the charity she founded in 2008, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust - a charity which supports disadvantaged young people using the unique skills of world-class athletes to engage, enable and empower, for which she won a Beacon award for philanthropy in 2017.


In 2018, she was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Royal Armoured Corps Training Regiment. Dame Kelly became the first person to be attached to a regular regiment as an Honorary Colonel which was signed off by Her Majesty The Queen.


In 2020, Dame Kelly was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of York to add to 12 others she has received since retiring.


With so many young adults suffering from mental health challenges, our vision is to collaborate and it has been a pleasure to have forged a special relationship with the the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.

For more information about Dame Kelly, please visit her website.


You can follow Dame Kelly on Instagram and Twitter.