Well it’s just under three weeks now until my 12-hour solo darts marathon on behalf of the mental health charity, the Jenny Wallwork Foundation, and Grangetown Netball Club.
I have been preparing the event since January and have been fortunate enough to have received some wonderful prizes for the various raffles/ auction/blind cards etc., as well as the appearance on the day of BDO World no.1 Glen Durrant, rising star Jordan “SuperBear” Matthews and, with a bit of luck, my local MP Anna Turley.
Since my last reasonably lengthy blog on the subject, I have had the opportunity not only to meet Jenny Wallwork, but also to play her at badminton; the sport in which she won two Commonwealth Games medals. It was a most enjoyable and memorable afternoon; Jenny is an inspiring young woman (and still a fantastic badminton player… unfortunately!) and I’m so pleased to have this chance to support her work.
As for Grangetown Netball Club, they have teams representing the north east in upcoming national finals at both under 16 and under 14 levels; a brilliant achievement. The club’s senior side plays in a national league, and players of all ages and abilities also have the opportunity to enjoy the physical and social benefits of sport… all overseen by dedicated volunteer coaches and helpers.
The darts marathon is one of a number of “challenges” I have been undertaking for the past two-and-a-half years to raise awareness of mental health issues. I’ve worked with the charity Mind and the Time to Change programme and taken as a whole, it has been a brilliant experience, which has taught me a lot about myself and the condition with which I have lived for over forty years, but more importantly it has allowed me to come into contact with some amazing people who have to show remarkable strength and courage just to get through each day. In addition, I’ve received help from so many people to realise some of the challenges… many of those started as strangers and have become friends. All incredibly humbling.
The darts marathon is my only 2016 event which will involve trying to raise money. Essentially, the project is all about raising awareness through sharing lived experiences, and trying to show just what can be achieved by being willing to reach out and ask for help. I’ve said before that the link between the reality of living with mental health issues and these challenges could be considered slightly tenuous, but for me it underpins everything I am doing….
Going back to the marathon, whilst I wouldn’t profess to be anything better than very average on the dartboard, it is fairly obvious than I am a better darts player than fundraiser. Some people have that happy knack of being able to promote events in such a way that money just seems to roll in… I seem to have the opposite gift, so if any of you think you might be able to help me reach my goal of £500 over the next three weeks, I would be beyond grateful.
There are a number of ways you can get involved:
To everyone that has already helped and supported me… thank you so much. I hope this blog will persuade a few more people to get involved in some way, but whatever happens, I’ll be doing as many hours of practice that I can before May 14 so that I can not only throw darts for 12 hours on May 14, but make the event as successful as it can possibly be.