Wigan dad brought to his knees by a charity pub crawl that he took literally

An intrepid Wigan dad took the term pub crawl literally – and racked up thousands for charity.

Nigel Brookwell got on his hands and knees and travelled possibly the hardest way possible from Wigan town centre to Standish, stopping off at a dozen hostelries on the way.

But there was no way the 48-year-old auditor from Swinley was going to be necking ale on what turned into a gruelling eight-and-a-half-hour journey.

Copious amounts of water plus electrolytes sustained him on his near snail’s pace trip in aid of Wigan-based Empathy Northwest CIC.

Nigel Brookwell making slow but steady progress between Wigan and Standish

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He chose the cause after becoming concerned about the increasing numbers of people struggling with their mental health and learning about the work the organisation does.

And so he set off from the organisation’s base on Library Street in Wigan and continued on the three-and-a-half-mile trip on all fours (11 minutes by car!), calling in to make collections at pubs along the way.

Nigel said: “Every fibre of every muscle is aching, my hands are numb and it was both physically and emotionally demanding, as it was intended and expected.

Traffic had to be stopped to let Nigel cross safely

"But it was all completely worthwhile. People were so generous all along the route and in the pubs – from the first, Real Crafty in Swinley, to the Hoots Bar in Standish where I finished up eight and a half hours later.

"There were people chucking £20 notes in the bucket. Our official total is £3,900 at the moment but some pubs have done their own collections to add to that and it wouldn’t surprise me if we didn’t top £6,000 by the end.

"By crawling I was showing that even if you are on your knees you can still go forward.”

Empathy Northwest is run by volunteers and offers therapy sessions and other support at a subsidised rate for people struggling with their mental health.

Having a breather at Doc's Symposium

With more people in Wigan facing mental illness and NHS waiting lists soaring, the organisation can provide support when needed.

It is not the first time Nigel has taken on an unusual challenge for a good cause. His previous fund-raisers have included walking part of the Wigan 10k in a four-stone vintage diving suit and pushing a hospital bed 10 miles at Run Wigan Festival.

Nigel celebrates completing his excruciating mission
Nigel Brookwell practising for his crawl