Young farmers to scale the heights for mental health charity
EIGHT young farmers are getting ready to challenge themselves to raise funds and awareness on mental health in the agriculture industry.
One in four people suffer from some kind of mental health issues and experts say the problem is particularly prevalent in farming with one person taking their own life each week.
To highlight these issues Barnard Castle Young Farmers (YFC) Tom Addison, Molly Griffin, Zoe Hutchinson, Danny Souter, William Beadle, Helen Bell, Anna Pounder and Andrew Dent have set themselves the challenge of climbing the three highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales in just 24 hours.
They hope by trekking 23 miles, ascending a total of 10,052 feet and driving 462 miles, to raise £3,000 for Chester-le-Street-based charity If U Care Share Foundation. They set off on Saturday, July 20. Ms Bell said: “We decided to raise awareness for the subject and raise money for the foundation as they aim to listen and support the emotional wellbeing in young people and those affected by suicide, a topic extremely close to the hearts of all of us at Barnard Castle YFC.”
The group had originally talked about completing the Great North Run, but opted instead to challenge themselves by tackling the three peaks as it offered the opportunity to work together as a team.
Barnard Castle YFC chairman Mr Addison added: “It’s all about team building, working together and making sure no one is left behind. This challenge gives us that opportunity.”
Fellow member Mr Beadle added: “None of us would know each other if it wasn’t for YFC. The friendship we have now will last a lifetime and we all know what each other is going through so can help if there is a problem.”
The group has been in training since March and have already had two practice runs on the Yorkshire three peaks.
They intend to tackle Ben Nevis in Scotland first, setting off up the mountain at 5pm.
They hope to be able to get to reach second peak, Scafell Pike in Cumbria at about 2am before heading further south to Wales to tackle their third peak, Snowdon.
Mr Addison added: “We have to say a massive thanks to Utass (Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Service) for the loan of their minibus and to former member Stuart Robson, who will be driving us between the peaks – without them it wouldn’t be possible.
“We’re going to take photographs at each peak and we just hope it won’t be foggy at Scafell as on the practice runs we’ve had there have been blanketed and it would be nice to get a good view.”
Barnard Castle YFC meets every other week on Monday nights in the function room at the Moorcock Inn, Eggleston. Anyone interested in becoming a member is welcome to pop along or get in touch via its Facebook page.
As well as taking part in a number of fundraising activities, the group also finds the time for other fun events such as car treasure hunts, talks and social evenings.
To make a donation, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/barnardcastleyfd3peaks