Eight men from Cornwall take on Ben Nevis log challenge for men's mental health

The Man Down Cornwall team training ahead of the challenge Credit: Ross Withers

A group of men are trekking up the UK's highest mountain, carrying an 82kg log to raise £20,000 for Man Down Cornwall.

The team set off at 8am this morning (May 14) and will heave a log of hardwood up and down Ben Nevis in Scotland.

The weight of the wood represents the number of men who take their lives every week in the UK.

Team member Ross Jackson-Hicks says the weight equals "12 a day – an absolutely horrific statistic".

The 82kg log which will be carried up and down Ben Nevis represents the number of men who die by suicide every week in the UK Credit: Ross Withers

He says "We hope to raise not only money to support our work but also awareness around men’s mental health here in Cornwall, which has the third largest suicide rate in the country.

“Our organisation, Man Down, supports local men in their darkest hour. Our main aim hasbeen, and always will be, to reduce male suicide in Cornwall. By talking about it, we want tosquash the stigma and end the shame that is attached to men’s mental health.”

The group taking on this physical and mental challenge includes Josh Chambers, Ross Jackson-Hicks, Tom Mason, Jake Preston, Chris Price, Paul Read, Todd Whymark and Ross Withers.

The men have been training ahead of today at Brown Willy on Bodmin moor to prepare for the 10.6 mile trek up 4,413ft to Ben Nevis' summit and back down to its base.

The men from Cornwall will be digging deep physically and mentally to complete this challenge for Man Down Cornwall. Credit: Andrew Stickler

Man Down is a Cornwall-based not-for-profit that was established by Ross Jackson-Hicks and Brad Osman in 2018.

Ross says, “We offer men a space to be heard and share their problems by providing meetings throughout the county that are confidential and completely non-judgmental."

“We provide a very informal, safe and relaxed environment for men of all ages from 18 upwards, who are struggling with any kind of mental health issues. By listening and talking, we show that there is always someone here for you, that you are never alone and that you can come through whatever difficulties you are facing.”

The group hosts free fortnightly meetings in Bodmin, Bude, Callington, Camborne, Camelford, Falmouth, Hayle, Helston, Launceston, Liskeard, Mevagissey, Mount Hawke, Newquay, Penryn Campus, Penzance/Newlyn, Perranporth, Redruth, Saltash, St Austell, St Stephen, Torpoint, Truro and Wadebridge.

The aim is to raise £20,000 for Man Down so the organisation can provide more support for generations of men in Cornwall who may need mental health support.

People can donate to the cause via their website.