Big-hearted members of a champion football club have already raised more than £6,000 in just a month for a mental health charity.
Jay Catton, director of football at Cymru Premier League champions Connah’s Quay Nomads, has led the way by collecting in excess of £5,000 from his 200-mile January Challenge in aid of Mind.
The Move for Mind 2021 event has seen Jay run over 200 miles for the cause.
And the good work continues, as the Nomads Academy are taking part in the 28 Days – Mile a Day challenge during February.
They have secured £780 in just 12 hours, taking the grand total well beyond the £6,000 mark from the club.
Before embarking on his quest, Jay commented: “The 200 Mile January Challenge – Move for Mind has presented a different challenge for so many, in numerous ways.
“Through my involvement with football I have seen first hand the significant mental impact of isolation, worry, fear and living through such immense change has had on a number of our players, staff and their respected families.
“We at Connah’s Quay Nomads FC have seen first hand just how much mental health support can help people and in particular we have worked alongside the mental health charity Mind to provide support to all our players and staff across all age groups.
“I would like to personally raise some vital funds to ensure appropriate support continues locally. January 2021, for a number of reasons, is arguably going to be the toughest time mentally for most after so many months of altered lifestyles.
“I aim to run 150 miles across January and am looking to raise vital funds to support this great charity.
“I run with the memory of my own grandad also who passed away during the first lockdown.
“He died because of Covid, yet not from it. He was an inspirational man who lived with motor neurone disease for many years.
“Despite all the challenges he faced daily he was always a constant positive character who always strove to live his life to the full. The mental challenge of COVID and the loss of the ability to go out was arguably a battle too far and highlighted even more the vital work of MIND for so many.
“It is likely to be a tough month ahead for us all and any small donations towards this great charity would be appreciated. We’re here to make sure anyone with a mental health problem has somewhere to turn for advice and support.
“This winter is going to be tougher than many we’ve faced before. Since the pandemic began, we’ve seen depression rates double, record numbers of people in crisis and more calls to Mind’s Infoline than ever before.
“We’re dealing with a mental health emergency. Your support is more vital than ever. £50 will fund our online support community Side by Side for two and half hours, £70 could help us campaign for better mental health services from the Government, £100 could pay the cost of one of our Infoline or legal line advisors for a whole day.”
Jay completed the 200 miles and finished with a marathon on Saturday linking Nomads, Airbus UK Broughton, Buckley Town and Flint Town United.
The Nomads football director recorded a marathon time of 4:00:08. To date, he has personally raised £5,332 (as of Monday morning).
You can still donate to Jay’s fund via the following link: https://donate.justgiving.com/donation-amount?uri=aHR0cHM6Ly9kb25hdGUtYXBpLmp1c3RnaXZpbmcuY29tL2FwaS9kb25hdGlvbnMvM2M3NGFmM2IxMzc4NDBmMmFkMTI1MmE0ZWZkMGM0ZjQ=
During February, Nomads Academy players are being urged to run a mile a day for the cause.
For every player who completes the challenge, the club will donate £5 to Mind.
All players are urged to walk or run one mile per day outside, along with parents or family members who may be keen to get involved.
Simply record your activity on the free Strava app and post a screenshot on each age group’s WhatsApp group for coaches to record and collate.