Christmas is the time of year for getting together and celebrating with your loved ones. However, for some it is a time of mindful reflection on those we have lost.
Our very own Director, Sam James and his friends definitely won’t be indulging in too much Christmas pudding this year as they are prepping for the 24 Hour National Three Peaks Challenge next June. They will be walking in memory of their friend Wayne Kay, who sadly lost his short battle with mental illness in December five years ago.
Sam, Mike Tansley and Antony Fitter, are being joined by Wayne’s brother Paul Kay, taking on the Three Peaks Challenge this Summer, to celebrate Wayne’s life as a much loved friend and brother. Wayne was just 29 when he took his own life. Tragically, another victim of male suicide, the biggest killer in young men in the UK.
Sam says “Since losing Wayne 5 years ago I have wanted to do this challenge in his memory. Thankfully two close friends of his and Wayne’s brother Paul both felt the same and agreed to join me in celebrating Wayne’s life and raising awareness of mental health problems such as depression in young men. I can’t help but think if more people spoke about mental health we might avoid some unnecessary suicides”
The challenge of walking the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours will start early on June 3rd in Fort William where they take on Ben Nevis. Once completed they travel by mini-bus to Scafell Pike and start the ascent in darkness. Snowdon is the last peak and hopefully by the time they finish it will be short of 24 hours in total.
The boys will be raising money for the mental health charity Mind and in doing so, hope to increase awareness of mental health problems in young men. Encouraging them to talk to friends, family and a doctor if they feel unwell. This time of year can be particularly tough on families financially or leave people feeling even more lonely and vulnerable than usual. According to Mind, more than 20,000 homes will have an empty chair at their Christmas table due to a loved one being treated for a mental illness. Just £10 helps to keep a therapy line open for those who reach out for someone to talk to in a crisis.
The boys were hoping to raise £1000 for the cause but they SMASHED it in just 2 days as the support has been overwhelming from friends and family of Wayne and the boys. They’ve even made the local press!
They would now love to reach their new target of £5000 before the walk.
You can support the boys on their Three Peaks Challenge by donating to their Just Giving page to help them reach their target. www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Wayne-Kay
Good Luck Sam!