Massive mental health campaign could raise £40k from high-profile events
Campaigners on a very personal quest to support mental health charities have put together an incredible programme of fund-raisers which could bring in £40,000.
Kieran Jones and Suzanne Cleworth teamed up earlier this year to support mental illness charity Mind.
Other news: Billy Livesley murder trial: Judge set to finish summing up todayBoth know first hand how terrible mental health problems can be, with Bamfurlong resident Kieran having battled depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder for several years.
Suzanne, from Leigh, lost her husband Stephen, a popular rugby league player, when he took his own life last year at the age of 44.
The duo are certainly pulling out all the stops this year to raise money for Mind, with Kieran bringing controversial comedian Roy Chubby Brown to The Village on the Green in Aspull in November.
The two have also amassed a massive team of dozens of runners to take on a Tough Mudder assault course while Suzanne is organising a ladies’ night at the Waterside Inn in Leigh later this month.
Both have spoken of the importance of raising the profile of mental illness and speaking out about it.
Kieran said: “It makes you feel good, the amount we might raise, and I’m doing it to pick myself up as well. It’s all taking shape and coming together and the money is coming in.
“I first set up the mental health page on Facebook and Tough Mudder saw how I had been losing weight by running and put it out there.
“After that people all over the world were following me and some told me how they were struggling. I told them my story and the steps I took, because I’m not ashamed of it, but obviously I’m not a counsellor.
“People were speaking to me, going away for a bit and then coming back saying they had seen a doctor or told their family about their mental health. That’s humbling.”
Suzanne said: “It’s definitely getting bigger and I don’t think it’s going to stop here.
“We need to raise more awareness. There’s still not enough out there.
“The Facebook post about the ladies’ night reached around 60,000 people. With a bit of a luck I’m hoping to make in the region of £5,000.”
The Waterside, where Suzanne works as a duty manager, will be crammed to the rafters for the fund-raiser on July 19 with all 170 tickets sold out, bringing in £2,000 alone.
Members of the Leigh Centurions rugby league team will be topless waiters and there will be auctions, a DJ, a drag act and a singer.
Attention then turns to the North West Tough Mudder which will be a day of mixed emotions for Suzanne as it falls very close to the anniversary of Stephen’s death in September.
After that Kieran is bringing North East funnyman Roy, whose defiantly blue and un-PC material has made him loved and loathed in equal measure, to the Aspull venue.
Tickets are priced at £30 and Roy will be on stage at about 7.30pm. There will be a warm-up act beforehand and then after the comedy gig finishes at 10,30pm further entertainment will keep the fund-raising going until late.
Kieran and Suzanne are not resting on their laurels either, with both already thinking of further fund-raising events they could do.
With the charity drive so far being for adults only Kieran says he would love to put on a family fun day with rides and other attractions for all ages.
Suzanne, meanwhile, is considering putting on charity rugby league events involving the borough community for the 13-man code.
Roy Chubby Brown comes to the Village on the Green on November 30. To get tickets email Kieran at [email protected]
You can also donate at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/teamMIND