• Phil Packer

Ocean Rower, Royal Navy Officer and Mental Health Champion, Hugo Mitchell-Heggs, joins BRIT

We are delighted that Hugo has joined our BRIT Ambassador family.

Hugo is a Royal Navy Officer who, as Campaign Director and Expedition Leader of HMS Oardacious, led a crew of four Royal Navy submariners to row across the Atlantic Ocean to raise funds for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity. In 2020, Hugo was appointed as the Submarine Service Mental Health Champion to promote and improve mental health, mental fitness and well-being in the Submarine Service community.

Hugo Mitchell-Heggs - Ocean Rower, Royal Navy Officer and Mental Health Champion

“Through my Royal Navy career, work with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, and role as the Submarine Service Mental Health Champion, I have first-hand experience of why maintaining good mental health and fitness is vital to our overall wellbeing. In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young adults, students and sailors, we must act now In order to avoid long-term effects on young adult mental health.

I applaud The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) for striving to unite the charity, education and sport sectors through their BRIT Challenges and also for inviting the Royal Navy to take part in their annual BRIT Challenges. Their vision to deliver an annual inclusive BRIT Challenge, for universities and colleges, is already having a positive UK-wide impact on young adult mental health and fitness; over the past two years, over 160 university and college teams have taken part in their BRIT Challenges.

In addition to Sea Cadets, Royal Marine Cadets, the Combined Cadet Force and University Royal Navy Units having the opportunity to participate, this is a great opportunity for every Royal Navy Ship, Naval Base and Station to participate as teams and improve their mental health and fitness.

I am thrilled to be joining the BRIT Ambassador family and hope to encourage Royal Navy Units to take part and encourage sailors and cadets to get out and cover distance towards their team 2,021 mile target; I also look forward to encouraging students and staff at the University of Sheffield and Cranfield University as they complete their 2,021 miles and fundraising targets.”

Lieutenant Hugo Mitchell-Heggs Royal Navy MEng(Hons), PGDip, CEng MIMechE - BRIT Ambassador

Hugo studied for a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering with French at the University of Sheffield between 2005 and 2010. This included a year at year at the Institut National des Sciences Appliqués in Lyon. During his time in Lyon, Hugo was awarded a one year player contract with Lyon LOU rugby in the France Pro2 league.

Between 2010 and 2011, Hugo attended The Britannia Royal Navy College and was subsequently commissioned into the Royal Navy. He then completed a Professional Marine Engineering course, between 2012 and 2013, delivered through the Defence School of Marine Engineering. Hugo then completed a Post Graduate Diploma (PGDip) in Nuclear Reactor Technology at Cranfield University.


After qualifying as a Royal Navy Submariner and Nuclear Reactor supervisor, Hugo spent years operating in some of the most extreme and aggressive environments on the planet.

In 2018, as Campaign Director and Expedition Leader of HMS Oardacious, Hugo led a team of four serving Royal Navy submariners to row unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean. On 18 January 2020, the team safely landed in Antigua becoming the fastest serving military team in history to complete the Atlantic crossing. HMS Oardacious has now raised over £110,000 for charity to leave a lasting legacy of Mental Health and Wellbeing support for the Submarine community, working with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Hugo has served in the Royal Navy for almost 11 years and in 2020, was appointed as the Submarine Service Mental Health Champion to promote and improve mental health, mental fitness and well-being in the Submarine Service community.

In 2020, Hugo was appointed as a Trustee of the Submariner Memorial Appeal; a registered charity set up to create a fitting memorial to submariners who have lost their lives in the Service and to the sacrifice of their families.