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Bidford gym-goers take on 24-hour rowing challenge for teen mental health charity



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Bidford gym-goers will be tackling a gruelling 24-hour rowing event to raise money for teen mental health today (Friday).

It takes place at IronMind Fitness gym, Waterloo Industrial estate, starting at 6pm and finishing on Saturday at 6pm.

Teams of three will attempt to row continually for a 24 period, aiming to cover a minimum of 240km in the process.

Sinead Beck-Esson, pictured on the rowing machine, has organised the 24 hour fund raising row at Ironmind Fitness in Bidford starting tomorrow (Friday). Pictured along with her fellow rowers, the event is to raise money for the teenage mental health charity Stem4. Photo: Mark Williamson. (57479939)
Sinead Beck-Esson, pictured on the rowing machine, has organised the 24 hour fund raising row at Ironmind Fitness in Bidford starting tomorrow (Friday). Pictured along with her fellow rowers, the event is to raise money for the teenage mental health charity Stem4. Photo: Mark Williamson. (57479939)

Sinead Beck-Esson decided to organise the challenge to raise much-needed funds for charity Stem4 and awareness of youth mental health issues after her own personal and family experiences.

She explained: “The rise is mental health illness in young people has risen massively over the last few years and the support system is non-existent. It’s time that changed.

“Over the last year, I have been helping my cousin through a really tough time. She is one of the lucky ones to have a support system in place now, however this is not the case for all young children.

“My cousin was diagnosed with anxiety, OCD and psychosis last year. She is such an incredible and intelligent young lady who dealt with her struggles longer than she needed too, simply because the support for young people isn't there; especially due to the pandemic and schools being closed - there just wasn't a route to help her immediately.

“My family did attempt to seek help from a hospital, in which they were told to go home and ‘keep an eye on her’. She is a teenager with emotions, fears and was not being heard. Her parents are not professionals and that is a lot of pressure to put on parents who are struggling to understand their daughters' thoughts, actions and illness at the time. No one should be put in that position. Fortunately, my family were in a position to get her professional help, but this isn't the case for everyone, they depend on charities and helplines for support and advice, so it's down to us to give them a hand so the support system can grow immensely and we can help save lives and normalise seeking help.”

stem4 is a charity that promotes positive mental health in teenagers and those who support them including their families and carers, education professionals, as well as school nurses and GPs through the provision of mental health education, resilience strategies and early intervention.

IronMind Fitness is owned by former Royal Marines Commando Phil Blundell and offers CrossFit style group training and coaching and caters for all ages and abilities.

When Phil found out that Sinead wanted to organise the event, he was happy to help. “At IronMind, we’re far more than just a gym. We’re an inclusive community and supporting each other to reach our goals, whatever they might be, is something we’re passionate about. We regularly look to raise money for various charities throughout the year, but this is a special opportunity to raise awareness and funds for a very important cause” Phil said. “The event is going to be pretty tough, especially when you get into the early hours of the morning. It’s being on the rowing machines for so long that takes a toll on your body, especially the hands. But we’re all there to help each other. There’s a really strong mindset within the group and I’m really proud of all the training they’ve put in for this challenge”.

People are welcome to pop in during the event to show their support and donate in person, though donations and more information can be found online at https://tinyurl.com/3m63tdvv



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