From Ledbury to Senegal… raising awareness for mental health
This Christmas, a man from the Midlands is driving from Herefordshire to Dakar, Senegal, to raise money for mental health charity, Mind.
Rob Cooper, 37, is undergoing a journey of 7284 miles through France, Spain, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal and back again, challenging himself to complete this journey solo to spread awareness and raise money for the charity.
Not only is it a long journey across varying climates, but Rob will also be sleeping in the car for most of the trip, which has been sponsored by local contractor, Speller Metcalfe, and Rotherwas Car & Light Commercial Ltd.
“Having suffered with my own mental health, I firmly believe that mental health issues shouldn’t stop anyone from doing extraordinary things and that continuing to have amazing experiences and push yourself demonstrates a real strength of the mind,” said Rob.
For many of us who are focused on buying gifts for family and friends, it can be easy to forget those who can often find this period particularly challenging – be it because of money worries, personal relationships, the recent loss of a loved one, loneliness or perhaps a worrying medical issue.
Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding, and are active throughout England and Wales, with local support centres in Swindon, Hereford and Bristol.
James Speller, managing director at Speller Metcalfe, said: “Mental health is a big topic for the construction industry, with one in four of our peers suffering from a mental health issue at any one time. We also have the highest rate of suicide among men of any industry, and for Speller Metcalfe it’s extremely important that we highlight support services and talk about mental health as much as possible, to encourage those who are struggling to seek support as soon as they can.”
Rob left for Dakar on the 1st December, driving a 2001 1.3 litre Suzuki Justy, but is yet to reach his goal of raising £5,000, so if you would like to sponsor him, please visit his Just Giving page, and you can also follow his journey on Facebook.