The Shout 85258 London to Qatar Walk Continues August 2022
The walk really has been a long, hard challenge and this month I knew would be difficult to keep up the pace as we had our family holiday to North Devon and as I have learnt over recent years family time is so important and sitting on the beach is part of that family time. Eating pasties & scones doesn’t inspire you to go for a long walk, although I did still manage to get a good few steps on the counter.
I have now covered 2723 miles which relates to 4,808,659 steps leaving 496 miles still to cover before the 21st November.
The funds have continued to rise slowly which is incredible really when looking at what has been happening around the world and the situation with increased fuel and food costs.
Walking in North Devon
People who know me are aware I am always an early bird who is up most days before 6am and often in work around 7am so I seldom see the national news. However as mentioned I was on holiday this month and watched the BBC morning news for a few days and have to say that I was appalled by its content.
For the first time in my life I realised why the saying
“NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS” was so important.
Now I don’t blame the news presenters for this but as a message to the producers of the programme just take a look at what you put out as news and how you deliver it. Let me tell you that from my own previous experience of having suffered with depression and PTSD the constant repeated bad news that you broadcast will affect thousands of people who may already be finding life very challenging, be it through health or financial concerns, and yes I understand news has to be broadcast but not the same intense stories again and again and again.
In just three days we had to listen to the Heat or Eat story again and again, fuel price increases, the post office strike, the train Strike, the Ukraine war, global warming issues with flooding and, the awful murder of Olivia Pratt-Korbel. Not one positive story and to be honest it was a treat to listen to the weather to have a break from the news!
The following morning at breakfast I decided to watch Good Morning Britain news channel and yes they broadcast the same news stories but it was delivered in a much more sympathetic, considerate and less intense manner with other light hearted stories in between the hard hitting news.
I feel very fortunate to have received such fantastic treatment from the NHS at my time of need following a serious accident. The treatment I received taught me how to deal with life’s challenges but for anybody finding life challenging who has not been offered support I can really sympathise with them as I could honestly see the news broadcast dragging them down further.
There are so many positive things happening in the world but they don’t get a mention, WHY?
A message to the programme producers -
IT IS TIME TO TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT AND HOW YOU DELIVER THE NEWS IN THE BROADCAST AND THE EFFECT IT HAS ON SO MANY PEOPLE
Think about the impact of your delivery and the effect it has on people, why not have a change of view and make people feel better about the news stories. Negativity is never a good thing, is it really that difficult to find stories with a positive outcome to supplement the hard hitting news. Good cop bad cop?
Just take a look at how Anthony McPartlin & Declan Donnelly give the nation a lift and that feel good factor with their Saturday night take-away show. Just imagine what they would do if they ever launched their own news programme, you can bet your life it would not be negative.
Steph McGovern’s packed lunch programme also shows you can discuss serious matters but deliver the topic in an acceptable way that does not drag you down and is surrounded by light-hearted features.
Sorry about my comments above but as you can probably tell I could feel the impact the news could have on so many people trying to deal with daily challenges.
I will close this month’s diary by saying “thanks” to Martin Blunt and Tony Kvedaras for their donations which has taken the funds raised for Shout to £14,100.00
Ian Darler B.E.M
July has been one of the most challenging months yet with temperatures in the high 30's but I know the money raised from the walk will help people of all agaes who are struggling with their mental health.
The challenge is still on track to achieve hitting the distance equivalent of the distance from London to Qatar before the first game of the world cup.
I have now covered 4,461,920 steps up to the 4th August 2022
Thanks again to everybody who has supported the walk so far with donations..
Please continue to spread the word and lets hope the donations pick up again.
Ian Darler B.E.M
This years football close season has been the busiest I have experienced in over 40 years, From the day after the last game of the season we have had contractors on site in so many different areas of the stadium. Involving the removal o the Abbey Arms that was first brought on site by Reg Smart as a gym for John Beck, The replacement units are on site but we still have work to complete.
The Dublin suite kitchen has been gutted and fully refurbished and all new equipment installed, Tea bar one at the rear of the main stand has also been gutted and all new equipment installed.
The Signature suite has also seen some changes and a complete re-design has taken place in what was the executive lounge. The match day reception area has also been replaced making it more welcoming.
A children's play area has been installed outside the club shop and a number of areas in the stadium including the mobility area at the North end have been resurfaced, all this on top o what is my busiest time o the year with all the annual certification work or the local authority.
But there is generally a positive that comes out of most situations ? My positive is that there have been days I have walked in excess of 30.000 steps a day which has been a massive help towards my walk to Qatar.
I have now covered 3,983,184 steps which leaves me 1,254,576 steps to complete my journey before the world cup kicks off.
Thanks again to everyone who has donated over the months and to the most recent donation of £250 from Les Holloway who lives in Spain .
The walk has now raised £13,700 which will be a great help to SHOUT 85258.
Please continue to spread the word and lets hope the donations pick up again.
Ian Darler B.E.M
Well the walk is still ongoing and I have now managed to walk 3,354,585 steps up to the 1st June which totals 1906 miles covered leaving 1,323 miles to go before reaching the 3229 miles which relates to the London to Qatar walk to the World Cup.
The interesting thing is I continue to be surprised by the number of people who have come forward to talk to me about their own mental health problems many who say they have never spoken to anybody before.
It has also been great to see people like Paul Merson and Joe Wickes on the TV talking about their own personal stories and I could relate to a number of things that they both discussed. I am certain that it will have helped people. I hope at some point in the future to be able to meet up with Paul Merson and put on a mental health event.
A number of organizations have been very helpful with their support with publicity and donations. Scott Mac-Cullum from the magazine Turf Matters carried out a zoom interview and then wrote an article within the publication but then made an outstanding offer to support SHOUT 85258 in the magazine . Radio Cambridgeshire also supported the walk with a couple of interviews. Cambridge United F.C have continued to support the walk and the recent update generated a few more donations.
I have to say a special thanks to Peter Houghton at the Football Safety Officers Association who has been so supportive over a 3 year period and earlier in the year invited me to talk at the FSOA conference about mental health and my journey. What I did not expect was for so many people at the conference to come forward over the next 48 hours to again talk about their mental health.
Peter kindly made donations of some top quality sporting memorabilia for future sporting dinners, a signed pair of Bruce Grobbelaar gloves, Matt Le Tissier signed Southampton shirt and a signed Mark Lawrenson shirt. Peter then asked club representatives attending to ask their clubs to donate memorabilia for SHOUT 85258. So far I have received a Chelsea F.C signed 2021-22 shirt a Portsmouth F.C signed shirt & ball and a Birmingham City signed shirt.
I always feel that there can be unusual opportunities that turn up in life when you least expect it and that was the case after I spoke at the conference in Strattford on Avon when a gentlemen called Andy Ashworth spoke to me. Andy had just been on holiday and read my book Life's A Pitch. Andy is a very well known presenter and he suggested that I should consider taking up after dinner speaking which at first I dismissed as a joke but later that evening Andy asked if I had thought about his suggestion, he went on to give me some advice. So as retirement approaches and I know I will require an income I have made the decision to take on the new challenge and have had several more discussions with Andy. Who would of thought talking about life changing mental health situations and writing a book could open a new door.
I would like to thank the latest group of people who have donated to the SHOUT 85258 walk during these very challenging times - post pandemic, the Ukraine war and of course the huge hike in the cost of living all of these challenges we all have to deal with at present.
John & Phyllis Mills
Football Safety Officers Association
Finally once this years football fixtures are confirmed I hope to organise another public walk as a number of people have asked if they could come along and support the challenge.
Thanks again to everybody who has donated over the past months I am very grateful to you all for the support.
Ian Darler B.E.M
Well what a month it has been and I have to say thank you to so many people who have supported my walk during such challenging times with the Ukraine war, covid infections increasing and the cost of living going through the roof!
So I feel very fortunate to have received so much support and publicity from so many different directions and people.
Firstly, the direct support from Shout 85258 has been incredible and it really makes you aware of what a fantastic organisation it is by offering support to so many people.
Work at the stadium has been very busy this month with a number of extra games being played, this has taken up a lot of my spare time which has made getting my steps in a bit of a challenge at times but fortunately Harry Darling kindly took time out with me to walk a few steps before the CUFC v MK Dons fixture at the Abbey Stadium.
Anyway thanks go to Louise Hulland who interviewed me on the Radio Cambridgeshire breakfast show which was very chilled, Louise was so helpful in letting me explain why this walk is so important to continue for the funding and the dialog about mental health.
Next to give me a call was Julian Clover & Lucy Milazzo from Cambridge 105 and again it was great interview due to the questions asked by Julian and Lucy who were both very supportive and have offered to join one of the public walks.
Scott MacCallum from The Turf Matters was the next person to come forward to offer an interview about mental Health. This again was refreshing and we hope that people suffering with their mental health will understand it is okay to talk and to ask for help. It gave me the opportunity to say that employers have a duty of care to look after their staff struggling with mental health and to offer support to those who often find themselves working alone for long periods of time.
One of the highlights of the month was when I was asked by Peter Houghton from The Football Safety Officers Association if I would speak at the annual conference about mental health. I have to say that having done this 3 years earlier and had such a positive reaction from people in the room I had no hesitation. Prior to the event I managed to knock out 10,000 steps walking along the beautiful river Avon, what an incredible place to switch off.
I was supported at the conference by Hilary Blakemore from SHOUT who is a volunteer who has taken in excess of 1000 calls, Hilary explained what SHOUT offer when people text SHOUT 85258 and it made me appreciate further why the walk and funding is so important with SHOUT receiving over 2400 contacts a day.
The room had safety officers from the premier league through to the National league, I gave a very honest hard hitting 20 minute talk about mental health and PTSD which obviously had an effect on a number of people in the room as throughout the day several people came forward to say they had been struggling with their mental health and not discussed it before but would now get assistance.
I have to say that I feel very privileged to find that people have the confidence to talk to me. I also discussed the Auction that I hope to hold towards the end of the walk and again the response from people in the room was amazing with a number of clubs offering to get signed memorabilia which I will highlight when it arrives. Mark Lawrenson & Matt Le Tissier also signed shirts for the auction and Neil Rowe at Cambridge United kindly donated a Southampton F.C. shirt.
The first auction item was donated by the FSOA and was framed gloves of Bruce Grobbelaar and Mark Crossley
This event showed top support and really highlighted mental health awareness within the FSOA and to show further support Andy Ashworth who hosted the gala dinner put a quiz together which raised £615 that was donated to the walk from everybody attending the dinner. Andy was also supportive to me personally with his comments about my book Life’s A Pitch and I hope there may be a chance that I can work with him in the future.
As for the walk the steps are progressing we have now reached 2,323,488 steps which relates to 1320 miles covered and leaving 1909 to reach Qatar.
The donations now received have hit £13,100 which is amazing!
I am now approaching my busiest time at the football club with the pitch renovation starting in May and all the annual safety certification work but once this is complete and the weather has warmed up I will arrange a date for the next possible walk that anybody can come along to.
Thanks again for your donations and support.
Ian Darler B.E.M
Above everybody who joined me the day we hit the million steps at King College Cambridge.
The recent million step challenge generated so many mental health conversations from people who had not spoken about their concerns previously.
I felt very privileged that so many people had the confidence to confide in me during the million step challenge.
I must thank every single person and company that sponsored the event which will help so many people of all ages.
I have continued walking every week and we have covered 1,981,777 steps which is 1126 miles now covered but more importantly the conversations have continued and again I apologise for the fact that the Just Giving page shut down when we hit £12,075
I have always had the view that tomorrow is another day but
Tomorrow really is another day for me as a national press release will be made at 10am on Friday 4th March.
I will put out further details in the next few days once the press release has been made.
Keep talking everybody
Ian Darler B.E.M
Firstly I must apologise as my Just Giving page closed in error on the 4th February I except full responsibility for this as I did not realise the page was set for 120 days.
We hope to have a new page open in the forthcoming days possibly with a new heading as I have had people contact me wishing to make a donation.
Meanwhile the steps have continued to increase and in the past eleven days we have added 129,647 steps so now covered 1,698,241 steps which gets us very close to a thousand miles covered as the total miles now currently stands at 964.
A WEEK OF SURPRISES
I was pleased to be part of the mental health podcast that went out this week and I must say thanks to everybody for all the positive comments received from people who have been in touch via the internet and in person at yesterday’s FA cup fixture against Luton Town. I know everybody who took part in the podcast hopes that it will help people feel more comfortable about talking about anything that is on their mind and to reduce that fear factor of discussing mental health concerns.
I think another very big surprise this week was to find myself in the Sun newspaper on Saturday which again we really hope will help promote Shout 85258. Special thanks to Dan King from the Sun newspaper
I was pleased to receive a phone call this week from Peter Houghton from the Football Safety Officers Association asking if I would consider talking again about mental Health at the annual conference in Stratford this coming March.
I was fortunate enough to have previously been asked to talk at the conference a couple of years ago and I believe this played a significant part in my recovery from depression and PTSD as it was the first time I had spoken publicly for a very long time following treatment. Last time around I was very honest with Peter when he asked me and said I will do my best but if on the day I find it too much I will have to drop out. Peter was very supportive with this decision and said he fully understood. The day came and to say I was nervous was an understatement but why? Prior to my depression and PTSD I was always running table top exercises in front 100-150 people, running medical evenings with paramedics, hosting charity sporting dinners etc. but my confidence had been taken apart by the mental health challenges I had faced.
The day came and I found myself on stage in front of a large audience I was very honest about what I had been through during a six year journey and the effect it had on both myself , family and friends along with the treatment I had received, the symptoms I had gone through etc. My talk should have been 30 minutes but lasted 45 minutes and that in itself was a boost to my confidence but what happened afterwards came as a huge surprise as two people came up to me and said that they felt I had been brave to talk as I had and that they knew they had been suffering with their own mental health battles and that they had not done anything about it but would now ask for help.
None of us know what life will throw at us but it is reassuring to know that talking to one another and offering support can make a huge difference.
Just do something once a day to make people enjoy life and put a smile on a face it can be something as simple as what Mark Bonner did at the game this Saturday? Was it planned or was it impulsive? It really does not matter.
Mark walked out the players tunnel before kick-off onto the pitch unannounced with his hands above his head clapping supporters in all home areas of the stadium and they responded with enthusiasm which generated such positivity and noise that I have never witnessed at the stadium in all my 43 years at the club every single supporter must have felt invigorated by this simple act as I did.
Keep talking and don’t be afraid to offer support to others remember those three little words can make a huge difference
ARE YOU OKAY?
Andi and Ann Redhead
And the anonymous donations
The donations I received after the Just Giving page shut down will be added to the total when the new page opens.
Thanks again to everybody above who has sponsored in the past 10 days
Ian Darler B.E.M
The walk continues and we have clocked up a few thousand more steps so we have passed the 1.5 million steps taking the distance covered to over 860 miles.
We hope to have some more news about the ongoing challenge in the next few weeks.
I again must thank the generosity of the sponsors who have continued to donate.
Acorn Architectural Ironmongery Ltd
Stadium Grow Lights SGL
And the anonymous donation.
Total currently raised stands at £11.798
Finally I must thank Dave Matthews–Jones & Carl Badcock for all their support
I am pleased to have been able to keep going as I had a slight heel injury that has not only caused some discomfort but also given me yet another nick-name? Wayne Sleep due to the way I have been walking.
I must as ever thank the following people and companies.
The supporters who attended the Cambridge United V Portsmouth fixture and donated
Nigel & Genny Browne
A2B Taxi cabs
And finally the anonymous donations
I really cannot thank you all enough every penny really does count and please keep telling people about this challenge and encourage people to donate as I know it will help others who at times will feel they have nowhere to turn-to .
Ian Darler B.E.M