Wigan man takes part in charity pub crawl literally on his hands and knees

Nigel Brookwell completing his pub crawl in Standish


Warning: this article contains graphic images of sports injury

A dad-of-two from Wigan has completed a pub crawl quite literally on his hands and knees - and with no alcohol.

Nigel Brookwell spent eight "excruciating" hours crawling four miles, most of it uphill, to raise money for a local mental health support group, Empathy Northwest CIC.

Nigel said at one point he couldn't lift his head and was recognising people by their shoes Credit: Nigel Brookwell

He set off from Wigan town centre on Saturday 2 July and, surrounded by his support crew with their collection buckets, made the four-mile journey, stopping off at pubs on the way and gathering crowds of onlookers.

When he arrived at one pub, The Hoot, a dog even joined him to persuade pub-goers to donate to his cause.

Nigel said at the end of the grueling challenge he was totally exhausted.

He said: "I don't mind admitting after Saturday I can feel every fibre of every muscle in my body!

"Without doubt, the toughest physical and mental challenge I have ever taken on, so far.

"But, although I feel physically very sore, emotionally I feel over the moon because I know my challenge has succeeded in resonating with people in my town."

Nigel has carried out a number of charity challenges, but said he wanted to do this after becoming concerned about rising numbers of people struggling with their mental health.

He said: "We have all experienced an 'uphill struggle'; sometimes you fall to your knees, but you keep going - and this is what my challenge Nigel's Knackered Knees is all about.

"We all fall down sometimes, what is important is that you keep going, and as we know, the journey is a million times harder on your own."

Nigel is supporting Wigan-based Empathy Northwest CIC, which is a non-profit organisation run by volunteers.

Nigel's hand after the gruelling eight hour challenge. Credit: Nigel Brookwell

It is staffed by fully-trained counsellors and offers therapy sessions and other support for people struggling with their mental health.

It says with NHS waiting lists soaring, the organisation can provide support when needed.

Along with raising money, Nigel said it is just as important to raise awareness of Empathy North West for people in the borough who did not know it existed.

He has raised more than £4,000 on the online fundraising page, with more money to be counted from his pub crawl buckets.

Nigel and the team from Empathy North West CIC at the end of his challenge Credit: Nigel Brookwell

Kaylea from Empathy North West CIC said they were overwhelmed with the support.

She told ITV news "We have been so taken aback by the response to Nige’s Knackered Knees fundraiser, from the people of Wigan and beyond.

"This has been our biggest fundraising event to date and it was so lovely to see people of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers to parents and grandparents to come together in support of Nigel’s mission.

"People were honking their horns, watching the livestreams on our social media, and donating money as we passed them on the street or in a pub.

"It was amazing to see people discussing mental health so freely and comfortably, showing empathy, understanding and kindness to one another".


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