No Men Nevis returns for Falkirk’s mental health charity

Staff at FDAMH launch this year's fundraiser. Picture: Jim Stewart
Staff at FDAMH launch this year's fundraiser. Picture: Jim Stewart
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The Godfather, Jaws and Star Wars – just some examples of when the sequel was as good as, if not better than, the original.

Now the No Men Nevis event – a fundraiser for Falkirk and District Association for Mental Health which ran for the first time last year – is hoping to accomplish the same feat.

In July 2016, 313 women climbed Britain’s highest mountain, raising an incredible £67,000 for the charity.

And as No Men Nevis 2: Men Too is officially launched, FDAMH is confident even more money can be raised – as part of the event is now also open to men too.

Taking place over the first weekend in August, one day will still be exclusively for women, while the second day will see both sexes take on the challenge.

Jim Stewart, business and community engagement officer at FDAMH, said: “The event last year was incredibly successful.

“That figure of £67,000 came completely out of the blue; we were not expecting anything like that.

“It is easily our most successful single fundraising event to date.

“Running FDAMH costs around £700,000 each year, so if we can raise something like £67,000 from one event, that’s a huge boost for us.”

No Men Nevis first came about after a mountain challenge just for boys ruffled a few feathers.

Tommy Hamilton, a former Royal Scots Dragoon Guard and former owner of Denny’s Songbird bar, helped raise £7000 for FDAMH in 2013 after organising the Yorkie Boys Ben Nevis Challenge.

After a few women said they were unimpressed by the men-only tag, Tommy promised to make amends and run a similar event just for women.

In 2015, he approached FDAMH with the fundraising idea, saying he already had 100 women willing and eager to take part.

“We couldn’t turn that offer down,” said Jim, “and it just grew arms and legs from there.

“It became by far our most successful single fundraiser.

“Incredibly, it raised ten times more than Bonnybridge’s John Wells’ trek to Mount Everest base camp in November.

“What we now want is for No Men Nevis to become a signature event for FDAMH, like Race for Life is for Cancer Research UK.

“It’s a way for us to offer a big fundraising challenge like the larger charities do.”

Angela Price, FDAMH general manager said: “When Tommy Hamilton first came to us in 2015 with the idea for No Men Nevis, we had no idea just how successful it would be.

“It’s a day to not only raise awareness of the services we offer at FDAMH but also help reduce the stigma attached to poor mental health.

“The reception we’ve had already for No Men Nevis 2 is incredible.

“Last year we had women travelling from as far as Middlesex to take part, so I can’t wait to see what this year will bring.”

FDAMH offers a range of services including immediate help, counselling, social prescribing and a health and wellbeing drop-in for its clients.

Between 2015 and 2016, more than 2200 people benefitted from the charity’s services.

Jim added: “One in four people will suffer from mental health problems during their lifetime, so it’s clear to see how vital the charity is to people from across Falkirk.

“Our main aim and what we are always striving for is to end the stigma associated with mental health.

“We want to raise awareness that there is no difference between physical illness and poor mental health.

“The earlier it’s caught, the more we can do to help.

“But overcoming the stigma remains a big problem for us.”

Registration for No Men Nevis 2 is open now, at a cost of just £40 including bus travel and a commemorative t-shirt.

Women are invited to scale Ben Nevis on Saturday, August 5 while both men and women are being encouraged to take part on Sunday, August 6.

The minimum age is 18 and participants are asked to commit to raising £100 in sponsorship.

To register for either day, visit the website www.fdamh.org.uk/nmn2.

The event also has a Facebook page and a dedicated section on FDAMH’s website.

Organisations interested in sponsoring the event are invited to contact Jim Stewart in the first instance on 07739 790541.