Serving fire fighters, Adam and Stu from St Mary’s fire station, Southampton are taking on the challenge of a lifetime.

Adam and Stu have both had to overcome some form of mental health problems during their working life. Through the tragic loss of colleagues, the regular pressures of making life and death decisions and attending dangerous incidents on a daily basis, the Minds Matter concept was born.

Through Minds Matter, Adam and Stu support mental health awareness, regularly holding mental health workshops and fundraising for charities. Supported by toob, their biggest fundraising challenge has begun, with the pair preparing to row across the Atlantic Ocean in December 2022 to raise money, with a target of £50,000, for Solent Mind and the Fire Fighters Charity whilst raising awareness of mental health.

37 days
37 days
rowing across the atlantic
2 hours
2 hours
each rowing on and off
3,000 nautical miles
3,000 nautical miles
in total to row

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is known as the world’s toughest row. It takes place over 3,000 nautical miles of treacherous, shark infested waters from San Sebastian in the Canary Islands to Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua & Barbuda.

Throughout the journey, Adam and Stu are likely to battle sleep deprivation, 20ft waves, salt sores, huge calorie deficits, hallucinations, minimal shelter and homesickness – particularly on Christmas Day.

They will be left with nothing but their thoughts, the vast ocean and the arduous task of getting the boat safely across the pond.

The fundraising goal is high, but this is to ensure they have the strength and endurance to reach their goal.

One in four people will experience some form of mental health issue in a given year. Mental health issues are responsible for 72 million working days lost, costing £34.9 billion each year. Poor mental health severely impacts on individuals and their families, especially those in the emergency services. (MHFA England, October 2020)

With a proactive approach to sponsorship, Adam and Stu are determined to raise awareness of mental health issues in the workplace, reduce the stigma of mental ill health, educate and train people to become Mental Health First Aiders, as well as raising £50,000 in total for their chosen charities: Solent Mind and The Fire Fighters Charity

This challenge is highly physically demanding and very few people have successfully completed it (3,000 miles in 37 days – this will beat a record previously set back in 2019). The duo have been supported in their preparation by students and staff at Southampton Solent University who have been and will continue to train Adam and Stu to reach peak physical condition before setting on.

The pair are also training others through Mental Health First Aider courses available for staff to attend, raising awareness of mental health in the workplace.

Watch Manager Craig from White Watch, Cosham Fire Station in Portsmouth has been selected by Adam and Stu to become the pair’s First Reserve.

In the event of any unforeseen circumstance that results in either Adam or Stu not being able to undertake the race, Craig will be on hand to step into their shoes if needed. Friend and colleague Craig is no stranger to extreme challenges, having trekked to above Everest Base Camp in Nepal in 2019 fundraising for the Firefighter’s  Charity. Craig will be supporting Adam and Stu, training and fundraising by their side.

toob are thrilled to be main sponsors for the Minds Matter Atlantic challenge. We are fully behind Adam and Stu, supporting their endeavours in mental health awareness.

Sponsors are still needed for the challenge, as well as donations to meet their £50,000 target across the charities. See the sponsorship pack below, for more information.

> click for the sponsorship pack

support the minds matter charities 




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