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Our Work

The Phil Hancey Squash Fund.

by Charlotte Richmond

Our journey with Phil began in 2020 – that’s when Phil first came to Aiimi’s attention through our colleague Steve West. They were good friends and had worked together at a previous company for six months.

On May 1st of 2020, Phil shared a post on LinkedIn about his recent terminal cancer diagnosis, Cardio Angiosarcoma. Steve read the post, reached out, and offered to help in the only way he could – get Phil working and keep providing for his family in the time he had left. Soon enough Phil was speaking with our Hiring team, sharing his story and his goals.

Phil was a highly skilled Developer, and we love a Developer at Aiimi, so it was a no-brainer for us to offer him a part-time contract role. This was because he aced our interview process. He joined us on a client project, working alongside Aiimi colleagues at Anglian Water. Soon enough, he asked to do an extra day a week - he was feeling well and was loving the project so much, that he wanted to spend more time on it. Very quickly, Phil became an integral part of the Aiimi family – not just for sharing his technical knowledge with us, but also showing us what it truly means to be brave in the face of adversity.

Phil was known for his incredible talent, positive attitude, and courageous spirit whose smile lit any room he walked in – these are only a few sentiments reiterated by the team who were lucky enough to spend time, and work beside him. He wasn’t just a colleague, he was a friend, and he formed many friendships while working at Aiimi. Phil regarded being able to work as a blessing, his commitment towards it, and to his family and friends was unwavering.

As Phil reached unexpected milestones - his next birthday, Christmas 2020, we decided to move him from a contract to a permanent position that would give him access to our benefits. His only goal was to provide for his family, and this was the best way we could support him to achieve this. In the background, unknown to the wider Aiimi team and even Phil himself, the management team set up a fund for Phil’s wife and son – with the intent of giving them some financial security in the difficult times ahead.

It wasn’t until Christmas 2021 that Phil took a turn for the worse and had to stay in the hospital. Steve, the founder and CEO of Aiimi, visited Phil and spent a lot of time with him and his family. He decided to share the news of the fund that had grown over the months since Phil first started his journey with us. At that moment, Phil and Sara decided they would use the money to support other people who really needed it. And that’s how the Phil Hancey Squash Legacy was founded!

So, why squash? Phil was obsessed with the game! He loved playing it and introducing it to new people. Char Richmond, our Head of Employee Engagement recalls,

"I was honoured to attend Phil’s funeral on Aiimi’s behalf. Every family member, friend, and loved one who spoke about Phil told a story of how he got them to play squash… It would seem he was very competitive and determined to win the game at all costs! I knew Phil as a colleague and as a friend, but seeing this new side to him gave me the drive to make sure his memory would live on and support others to enjoy the game he adored."

Phil’s Legacy is founded on two main goals; the first goal is to support talented players, and the second goal is to help community groups give the opportunity to more people to play squash! We couldn’t think of a better way to honour Phil’s memory than to make squash more accessible to all! We have been working closely with the team at England Squash to get this up and running and are hopeful that this will help others to enjoy and become as passionate about the game that Phil loved so much!

Find out more about The Phil Hancey Squash Fund and apply online via England Squash.

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