A YOUNG accountant aims to raise a substantial sum for the mental health charity MIND by calling time on alcohol throughout 2020.
Clayton Hodge from Crewe is sponsored by friends and colleagues at The County Group headquarters in Crewe as he raises money and awareness of the cause this year.
The 21 year-old, who works as an assistant accountant at the insurance company, said: “I don’t have a drink problem but can spend £100 or more on beer by going to the football and bars over a weekend.
“So for 2020 I intend not to consume any alcoholic substance and friends are sponsoring me throughout. Some have pledged £1 a week, and others £10. By the end of the year I hope to have raised £1,200.”
He added: “Mental Health has a very low amount of funding by the government considering the effect it has on a-large amount people. I have chosen this charity as I feel this something that is very close to my heart and has affected people very close to me.”
Celebrity Stephen Fry, who is President of MIND, has spearheaded a national campaign and Manchester City FC fan Clayton hopes more local people will follow suit to highlight the links between drink and mental health problems, particularly in young men.
His JustGiving page says: “Evidence shows that people who consume high amounts of alcohol are vulnerable to increased risk of developing mental health problems and alcohol consumption can be a contributing factor to some mental health problems, such as depression.
“Mental health is a massive killer in the UK with 6,507 suicides registered in the UK, an age-standardised rate of 11.2 deaths per 100,000 population; the latest rate is significantly higher than that in 2017 and represents the first increase since 2013. Three-quarters of registered deaths in 2018 were among men (4,903 deaths), which has been the case since the mid-1990s.”
The County Group, which employs more than 70 people at its base on Crewe Business Park, regularly supports their charity efforts.
Recent fundraising drives have included wearing Christmas jumpers for the Donna Louise hospice, collecting toys for local children and baking cakes for Cancer Research.
Hannah Peel, Marketing Executive said: “We take the health and wellbeing of colleagues seriously and operate an ‘open door’ policy where they can chat to a manager about any issue. Clayton is doing his bit for such a good cause and we will all get behind him.”
If you would like to donate to Clayton's fundraiser, you can make a donation on his GoFund me Page; where you can find out more information about Mind and their incredible work.