Hampshire firefighters take on Atlantic Challenge for Mental Health Awareness

14th February 2022

Hampshire firefighters Adam Bundle and Stuart Vince are preparing to take on the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge 2022 as part of their mental health awareness programme, Mind Matters. The comeback kings were due to take on the challenge in 2020, but due to physical trauma and the pandemic, their quest was postponed.

The re-launch of their mental health campaign kicked off last Friday (28th Jan) with the ‘launch’ of their boat, Patience into the Solent. The pair began their on-the-water training, leaving Calshot, rowing to Hurst Castle, Cowes and back. Accompanied by their first reserve and fellow firefighter colleague, Craig Sadler, the team plan to undertake this trip 3-4 times a month until the challenge begins in December.

The family men set up Minds Matter to boost mental health awareness after they both overcame their own forms of mental health problems, from the tragic loss of their colleagues to the regular pressures from life as a firefighter. Through Minds Matter, Adam and Stu fundraise and hold mental health workshops across the South, which they will continue with this year.

The Atlantic challenge is their biggest fundraising activity yet, with a target of £50,000 to raise for Solent Mind and The Firefighters Charity. The challenge will see Adam and Stu row across the Atlantic from the Canary Islands to Antigua. They will row 3,000 nautical miles for 37 days, each rowing 2 hours on and off.

Adam said: “It’s a huge relief to be relaunching our positive mental health campaign, which concludes with our 3000-mile row across the Atlantic Ocean. Both Stu & I are itching to get back in the boat, we’ve starting our intense training program, which has been written & supported by the dedicated team at Solent University.

Our face-to-face mental health first aid training starts again in February, where we will be training local businesses, sponsors and members of the emergency services to recognise the early signs of mental health illness and how to safely support the individual.”

Stu continued: “We are grateful to our sponsors, particularly our premier sponsor, toob who not only have supported us through these troublesome times, but who have also made our Atlantic dream possible.

Like everyone, we’ve fought through the pandemic, struggled with family illness, faced personal injury and also had new additions to our family. The past year has tested our own mental health to the limit, and at times we’ve questioned, if we could proceed. With the support of our friends, families and each other, we are back on top & raring to go!

We are in a fortunate position; we are 11 months away from the challenge and we are 95% ready to go. We have raised nearly 20% of our fundraising target and we have many events in the pipeline, soon to be announced.”

toob CEO, Nick Parbutt said:

“We are thrilled to sponsor Adam and Stu on their epic Atlantic challenge. I wholeheartedly believe in them and their cause. The rise in mental health issues in our society is something that concerns me greatly; it can affect anyone, no matter how strong or how successful, and the effects can be devastating on the sufferer and their friends and family. I hope our sponsorship helps Adam and Stu reach their goal to support these two great charities.”

For more information on Adam and Stu’s challenge, visit toob.co.uk/minds-matter where you can find how to donate, how to become a sponsor, and more on the Atlantic Challenge.