Weston’s Ash Russell aiming to climb Mount Toubkal to help mental health charity

Weston’s Ash Russell will be one of 30 people doing the trek up Mount Toubkal.

Weston’s Ash Russell will be one of 30 people doing the trek up Mount Toubkal. - Credit: Archant

Weston second row Ash Russell said it is “hugely important” to raise money for charity Bloom, which is “very close to his heart”.

The Lloyd’s Bank employee was approached to apply for a trek to Mount Toubkal in Morocco for the charity, aimed at mental health resilience in young adults.

After having to say his reasons for doing it, how he would train for the event and an example of a fundraising plan, Russell was accepted and had to raise £4,000 by October.

But due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the walk has now been delayed to May 2021 and Russell says it is “hugely important” to make people aware of well being.

“I don’t consider myself to have mental health issues but there are a lot of people out there that do,” he said.

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“They don’t necessarily know what support is out there or how to talk about these type of things.

“There is a huge stigma attached to opening up about mental health, particularly in the sporting world, and if what I’m doing truly helps only one person I’d consider it a success.

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“Specifically during these times whether young, old or whatever your situation, your mental resilience is going to be tested and helping equip people with tools to deal with this more effectively is vital.”

In order to meet up his grand total, Russell has set up a JustGiving page as well as a Lip Sync battle, a Family Fun Day, a charity rugby match between Ed Weston Colts and Ed Weston 1st XV players and a Ladies Day/Night in line with a first-team game.

Russell is also setting up a 2021 calendar and providing bucket collections and raffles to both charities.

He added: “I’m a people manager and have helped a number of colleagues who have suffered from varying degrees of mental health difficulties.

“Through supporting these colleagues it gave me much more of a wider appreciation for the topic and how I and others can approach and deal with challenges in life.

“By understanding the topic you can speak more openly and honestly with people which in turn really helps to connect and get to the root of a problem.

“It gives me enormous satisfaction to be able to help others and see positive changes in their life. I can’t take all the credit but Is very pleasing I have played a small part in it.”

To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Ashley-Russell6?utm_medium=email&utm_source=ExactTarget&utm_campaign=20200415_114279

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