Wigan dad takes term 'pub crawl' literally on an excruciating challenge for a good cause

Wigan dad Nigel Brookwell is never one to shy away from a challenge – and his next fund-raiser will certainly bring him to his hands and knees.

The 48-year-old from Swinley is taking the term “pub crawl” literally, as he has pledged to crawl from Wigan town centre to Standish, stopping at pubs along the way.

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The journey will not be easy, but he is determined to complete it to raise money for a good cause.

Nigel Brookwell on his feet for now

Nigel has decided to support Wigan-based Empathy Northwest CIC, after becoming concerned about rising numbers of people struggling with their mental health and learning about the work the organisation does.

He said: “I am crawling on all fours on Saturday, July 2 from Empathy Northwest’s base at 16 Library Street to Standish. It’s a distance of just over four miles, mostly uphill.

"It’s daft, but it’s daft on purpose because it will make people ask if I’m mad and what I’m doing. There are more charities and organisations that ever before and it’s important that people support them all, whether it’s for cancer or ME or something else. The challenge is getting noticed.”

Nigel, who has two children, aims to raise £5,000 for Empathy Northwest and has already collected more than £1,100 online.

Nigel Brookwell on all fours with staff from JD Gym, Wigan, showing their support, from left, Matthew Peacock, Lewis Bolton, Alysha Berrigan, Liam Hill, Tony Tomlinson and Sam Heaton.

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

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

As well as raising money for Empathy Northwest, Nigel hopes to highlight the importance of its work and encourage people to get help if they need it.

He said: “The message is if you feel, for whatever reason, you are dropping to your knees and feel genuinely stuck, you must move forward. But if you feel you can’t, that is where these skilled counsellors come in. Just reach out to them.”

Nigel Brookwell is expecting to have some sore joints by the end of his challenge

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.