6th January 2022 has been a special day as the £10.000 target was reached.
I have currently now covered 1.290.691 steps and if you convert that to miles based on each step being a yard we have covered 700 miles.
It is the generosity of everybody who has very kindly donated that has kept me going over the past weeks and I really thank you all for your support and these funds are essential for SHOUT 85258.
SHOUT 85258 is a charity which has become close to my heart as this challenge has really helped people to talk and many of these people had not spoken about their mental health problems before and I believe the work they undertake is essential for people of all ages who find life’s challenges too much at times.
This challenge started as I had a friend who took his own life in 2021 and as I have mentioned before following the publication of my book Life’s A Pitch in 2019 I have also had several people come forward to speak to me who were really struggling with their mental health.
I am planning on continuing the walk as the donations are still coming in and I still look at it that every penny donated really does make a difference and will continue to support SHOUT but it is also some of the comments that have been submitted with the donations that has made me decide to keep walking.
Please continue to tell people about the challenge and keep talking.
As it says on the SHOUT 85258 shirt, TAKE EACH DAY AS IT COMES.
Thanks again everybody
Ian Darler B.E.M
I know from my own experience how challenging mental health conditions can be but you can get through it and I believe that I am a far better person now and more understanding and supportive .
Most Cambridge United supporters will be aware that Heads Together campaign was launched at the Abbey Stadium with the Duke Of Cambridge and The Royal Foundation and since then a number of high profile professional sports men and women have spoken about their mental health issues.
SHOUT 85258 was the first service from Mental Health Innovations. The service was researched and developed with the Royal Foundation as a legacy of the Heads Together campaign .
SHOUT 85258 offer a 24 hour service , If you need support you can text Shout to 85258 anytime,day or night to start a free , confidential conversation .
SHOUT 85258 also provide a little book of coping skills that can be found on their website.
Remember people hide their feelings donating today will most certainly help people of all ages and could save a life.
EVERY PENNY COUNTS
Thank you for your support.
Ian Darler B.E.M
Cambridge United FC Stadium Manager
Just Giving Page can be found here -
Million step challenge week 12
The Christmas period has seen another 105,934 steps added to the total steps which now stands at 1,215,511
Things returned back to normal at work on the 31st December and the steps increased as we started to prepare the Abbey stadium playing surface for the fixture against Portsmouth. This fixture could also help with the donations as the football club have very kindly agreed to allow a bucket collection at the turnstiles.
We will be using a play on words (A SMALL CHANGE CAN HELP MENTAL HEALTH) we are hopeful that supporters will bring their unwanted small change that has been sitting around the house in a draw, a jar, or down the back of the sofa, every penny really does count and could help those who are suffering with their mental health and could save a life. The challenge has currently raised £8,440 which will already help SHOUT 85258.
Mick and I have been into the stadium most days over the Christmas period to move the pitch grow lights to ensure we can provide the team with the best surface we can as we enter the most challenging time of the season for the pitch. It has been a strange Christmas for me as I think it is only the second time in 40 plus years that I have not had a game to prepare for during the festive period.
The donations have continued to rise and there have been some heart-warming comments from the people making the donations.
One of the most rewarding things about the million step challenge has been the affect it has had on a number of people who have spoken about their challenges in life for the first time and the effect certain media events have had on them.
WHAT PRICE DO YOU PUT ON THAT? I did not expect this reaction when we started the challenge but it has given me the opportunity to reflect on how I felt when I was struggling and more importantly the copping strategies I was given at the time.
It is very easy for people to say that it is important to try to have a balance within your lifestyle and there will be people who say DREAM ON MATE I cannot do that? But it is very important to try to have work time, family/friend time, social time, along with time to exercise and in some form add to this trying to eat a healthy diet. I know this is not possible for everybody but just having 2-3 of these things can make a difference to your wellbeing.
I no longer worry about things I cannot change?
I very seldom listen to any national news on the TV as it is generally depressing and again in most cases I cannot do anything about the topic of discussion and let’s be honest if the producer and editor took out the words COULD, MAY, POSSIBLY they would be limited on any actual facts? What is quite clear is that the people responsible for the national news programs do not appreciate the effect it has on people suffering with their mental health. With the estimated number of 1 in 4 people suffering with some form of mental health problem they in my opinion really should wake up to the effects they have on certain elements of their viewing public. The positive stories are very limited which is a shame as good positive light hearted stories really can help give people a lift. Take a look at the Steph McGovern programme Steph’s packed lunch, it’s light hearted but often deals with problems people have to deal with day to day and in most cases has a positive outcome but more importantly is always uplifting. I guess what I am saying is watch programs that give you a lift not programs that can drag you down.
I must thank everybody who have again been generous in donating over the past few days and for the very kind words posted with some of the donations, special thanks to my Norwegian friends who made a very generous donation.
Cambridge Foot Golf
Fredagskaffen med Ole, Roger og Jens
Thanks for your support keep talking and offer help to those who may be lonely.
Ian Darler B.E.M
I did still manage to complete another 75,625 steps taking the total now covered 1089577
But what a nice surprise it was when an old football friend turned up to walk a few steps with me, Derrick Christie still looking very fit and fashionable joined me. It was great to see Derrick we have known each other over 40 years he is always upbeat has never stopped smiling!
Christmas is approaching and can be a joyful time for many families but can also be a challenging time for many for all sorts of reasons and they may reach out for help. Giving genuine encouragement to others provides reassurance and support and lets people know you are there to listen and not judge
I must again thank everybody who has continued to make donations towards the challenge for which I am very grateful.
Carl Badder’s Badcock
North Terrace Supporters
A & R
Andrew, Michele, & Jack
And not forgetting the anonymous donations
I wish everybody a Merry Christmas and healthy New Year, keep talking and be there for others.
I would like to thank Trevor Kettle for also puts in a few steps with me before the Rotherham United game.
The past ten days has seen another 159,040 steps added to the grand total that now stands at 1,013,952 and confirms that the million step target has been reached, however the challenge is not due to finish until the Cambridge United v Portsmouth fixture in January so the step target has been increased by another 250,000 steps in the hope that the ten thousand pound target can be reached.
The past 10 days have been very busy with a small walk in the mornings before I head off to work to enable me to get some early steps in the bag!
I took my wife and daughter to visit Wimpole Hall on a cold damp evening to explore the winter wonderland which again helped rack up the steps.
Million step target reached at the Back of Kings College
I cannot start to imagine what effect this has on people suffering with this disorder who before going out for a meal have to make a decision based on the menu.
This week has also seen the donations total increase to £7276.00 leaving £2724.00 to hit the £10,000 target.
Thanks to the following companies and individuals and anonymous donations I am very grateful to you all.
Giac , Enzo ,Tony
BBC Cambs Friday Night Sports Team
Emma, Rob, Ollie & Ben Smith
Donna & Paul Premier Event catering
Again thanks to every single person who has supported this challenge as every penny really does count and as I have previously said your donation will help somebody and could save a life.
Please spread the word
Ian Darler B.E.M
Week nine has seen another 92204 steps added to the grand total that now stands at 854.912
We have now made the decision to invite people to join the million step challenge on Sunday 12th December for a gentle stroll along the river Cam. People can meet us at the start of the venue or join in on route and everybody is welcome to come along. Please note that neither Cambridge United FC nor Ian Darler can accept any liability for injury or loss on the walk.
We will be taking photos and hope that we will hit the 1 million steps on route with the step challenge then being increased to 1.250 million steps to target before the Portsmouth fixture on the 3rd January 2022
The starting point for the walk will be at Cambridge United Fc, The Abbey Stadium, Parking will be available in the rear carpark along Cut Throat Lane meeting at 9.30am - 9.45 am departing at 10am
Departing at 10am from the Abbey Stadium following the route below with a distance of approximately 2.5 miles each way. .
Riverside to pass under Elizabeth Way Bridge
Continue under Victoria Avenue Bridge to Jesus Lock
Crossing over the water fall bridge at Jesus Lock on to Chesterton Road
To Northampton Street then
Queens Road to the back of Kings College at West Road
Queens Road to Northampton Street turning right and crossing over Magdalene Bridge
Turning left to Quayside and on to Jesus Green to Midsummer Common
Then picking up the River Cam back under Elizabeth Way Bridge
To Stourbridge Common and return to the Abbey Stadium.
This week has again seen people contact me with their own mental health challenges and I know I have said this several times before but these people again are not people you would expect to have had mental health problems which again shows the importance of talking if you are struggling and likewise the importance of asking people if they are okay.
This challenge is not just about raising funds for SHOUT 85258 although that is very important but equally it is about getting people to talk freely if they are struggling without feeling embarrassed or worried that people will think they are weak, Suffering in silence really does just make things more difficult and I really do know how difficult it is to ask for help or confide in somebody.
This week has seen one of the best weeks for donations from both companies and individuals taking the total raised to £6022
Thanks to the following companies & individuals
Cambridge United Hall of Fame
John Cobb & Sons Ltd
Breckland Industrial Ltd
The angling friend
Whilst thanking the people above we would like to say thank you to Cambridge United FC for allowing a collection to take place at the Portsmouth fixture on the 3rd January 2022.
A Small change can make a difference to your health and that is why we hope to target the small change that people have lying about in their home. Coins in that drawer that jar, that bottle?
Small change 1p, 2p 5p, 10p, 20p etc. etc. that just sits there for months could save a life.
We will provide bins at the turnstiles for change to be placed in to.
Just think if you can just find £1 in small change and donate it what a difference it could make? With an expected crowd of 6000-7000 people attending the fixture this would be a serious amount of money for mental health.
Thanks again for your continued support and I hope to see some of you on Sunday 12th December 2021 for a stroll along the River Cam.
Please keep donationing and talking.
Ian Darler B.E.M
Cambridge Charity Fund Raisers
Thankfully as this week has progressed I have felt fitter and now back to full strength so the step total has progressed quite well with another 107.554 steps added to the total which currently stands at 762.154 .it was interesting to find out that my Million steps will total in the region of 503 miles.
When I was at home recovering from my two day stay in Addenbrookes it gave me the opportunity to watch the Mortimer & Whitehouse fishing series again.
Bob & Paul have managed to deliver a programme that I am sure has lifted the spirits of thousands of people across the country with their light hearted comments ,entertainment and care of the environment with the fishing thrown in but far more importantly discussing so many things relating to health. With both Bob & Paul having had serious heart conditions and Bob having open heart surgery they discuss how they felt when diagnosed and the treatment that followed but then move on during the series to talk about mental health and the importance of talking about mental health.
n series 3 episode 6 fishing on the river Wye Bob arranges for Paul and himself to talk to Dr Anand Patel from the centre for mens health.
Bob asks Dr Patel how would you suggest people tell somebody that they are struggling and the reply from the doctor was simple. Tell your doctor, family member or friend that I’ve not wanted to talk about this but I am feeling low?
Since starting this million step challenge I have had more and more people coming forward to talk to me about what they have been through with their mental health which in itself is very rewarding as this is what the challenge is about along with raising funds for SHOUT 85258 .
I personally have no professional training on dealing with mental health and can only talk to people about what I went through personally following a serious accident and the treatment I went through but more importantly showing that you can recover and have a coping mechanism to deal with your own health. And to be honest going through depression and PTSD has made me a far better person and far more considerate and understanding along with managing my life and time in a better way. I admit that I was a workaholic but now try to have a structure to my life , Yes I still work hard but also try to have family time , and social time either fishing or working on my charity events.
It is strange how once people break the ice to talk about their problems it can open the floodgates this was the case on Thursday evening when the Hall Of Fame Inductions took place at Cambridge United. The organisers very kindly made the decision to donate the money raised in the heads & tails competition to my million step challenge but also asked me to speak for a few minutes about the challenge and why I was doing it. What I did not expect was at the end of the evening for two people come forward to say they had been suffering with mental health one of which mentioned they had tried to talk about their problem to people and said they were told to just get over-it . What was nice was the person said after listening to what I said and having a chat it was the first time they had not felt alone for a very long time.
This is exactly why things have to change and people should not be afraid to talk about how they are feeling? Trust me it could save a life.
Although the funds did not increase as much this week as I would have liked I am pleased to say that yet another company donated to show their support for mental health. So special thanks to AJW Distribution Ltd. The total now sits £4320
I have been asked by several people if I intend to undertake a walk were people can join me. And to be honest I had not really thought about it but I will now have a look for somewhere that would be suitable and that offers parking and an interesting environment and possibly set a date on a Sunday before Christmas.
Thanks again for your support and please spread the word.
Ian Darler B.E.M
Week 7 - Million Step challenge
This week continued to be a challenge in more ways than expected as I was recovering from my time spent in Addenbrookes Hospital and although I felt better in myself and pain free I did not have any energy and felt drained.
So again this week the steps covered are far lower than I would have planned but I am pleased to have put another 44.467 steps on the total which now stands at 655.154 steps covered.
I am hopeful that week 8 will see me getting back to the 100.000 steps a week.
I must again say thanks to the generosity of all the people and companies that have sponsored the event this week which has now taken the total raised to £4.220
David & Janet
Not forgetting the anonymous donations
Million Step Challenge Week 6 - Find out why it was a difficult week. You never know when things will take a turn for the worst
Thanks to the NHS displayed on the pitch at CUFC April 2020
You will see in my steps diary this week that the number of steps have dropped off as I had not been feeling very well for several days but what I did not expect was to be taken in to Addenbrookes Hospital by ambulance in the early hours of Monday morning which incidentally was the day of my mother’s funeral that I did not get to attend.
Anyway I have never taken interest in politics in any form but having had a very traumatic 48 hours in hospital I thought I would include it in my million step diary for this week in the hope that a politician may read it at some point.
Now having worked at Cambridge United FC with staff from the NHS, Doctors, Paramedics, porters etc on match days for over 30 years I have listened time after time to the stories of being short staffed, long hours worked etc and I was aware of what amazing work they do but nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed during my time in Addenbrookes.
I went to bed Sunday evening not feeling that great and was unable to sleep and during the early hours of Monday morning I was in a great deal of stomach pain which increased to the point that I knew I was in trouble and just after 4am my wife Lisa had to call for an ambulance and having witnessed ambulance delays in the past at CUFC I was not surprised that it did not arrive that quickly as I know they are always flat out and in demand. Lisa made a second call as my health deteriorated further and I had collapsed and following the second call the ambulance arrived very quickly. The two young paramedics checked me over including checking for a heart attack as I had passed - out and been very sweaty and in a great deal of pain. They made the decision to transport me to Addenbrookes , I was feeling very unwell and started receiving pain killers and anti-sickness drugs immediately. The care they gave was incredible and on arrival at hospital there was a discussion as to where I would be taken were there any cubicles in A & E etc. anyway I was placed in a cubicle outside the doctors /nurse station . I was swabbed quickly for MRSA and tested for covid .
I had only been in A & E a short while when I had another attack come on and could feel myself passing out again I called for help and the staff rushed to my aid and again all the kit was stuck over me to check for a heart condition, the sweat was pouring off me I was in extreme pain and I can honestly say that it was as ill as I have every felt in my lifetime.
The doctors then took me through to the Resus unit where I spent several hours having been put on a drip being pumped full of morphine , anti-sickness drug etc but I was still being ill .
Discussions took place about my condition having recently had diverticulitis and having been on antibiotics the week before. The staff then arranged for me to have an emergency CT scan followed by a second scan. I was then returned to the Resus department and again the treatment I received was outstanding. The decision was made to give me another dose of antibiotics intravenously but within just 20 minutes I had an allergic reaction and was covered in a rash from head to toe, more quick treatment followed to prevent the reaction getting worse and within an hour this was under control and had calmed down although I was still being sick and bad.
I was still in intense pain in the abdomen areas and was given yet more morphine and then at long last the pain eased I cannot thank the staff enough for what they did for me.
It was after a few more hours that I was transferred back to A & E when I caught up with the staff who had first treated me. I spoke to one of the nurses at length and said at one point I thought my time was up. She replied yes you did look very poorly we were worried you were having a heart attack and you went some strange colours.
Now I am used to working 12-14 hour days myself at CUFC and it is tiring but If I get something wrong or forget to do something worst that would happen is something may get left unlocked or a machine not get put away ,these staff simply do not stop and often do not get the break they deserve and I heard one nurse say she had been trying to get time to go to the loo for an hour and god only knows how they keep going and they are responsible for people’s lives every minute of their working day.
It was whilst I was in A & E waiting to be transferred to the ward that I my attention was drawn back to the million step challenge I am undertaking as a young girl was brought in by paramedics and again the care she received was so caring. The young girls phone rang and she was talking and I over heard her say she had been self-harming again and that she wanted to talk to somebody but did not know who to talk to. This is why SHOUT 85258 is so important.
The staff were keen to get me moved to the ward to free up the bay but there was a shortage of porters on duty and also a shortage of trollies. I should also mention the catering staff team who again work tirelessly with the demands put on them and were so friendly and accommodating with patient’s needs.
I finally arrived on ward A3 at around 1.30am and again the staff on the ward were simply amazing.
Due to my position as the match day safety officer and Stadium Manager at Cambridge United for 40 years I have had to write hundreds of risk assessments and method statements but can honestly say that I would not know where to start to support all the staff from top to bottom at Addenbrookes Hospital and would have very strong concerns about their mental health and think some staff must suffer from burn out but will direct my frustration at the government and politicians for the way the staff are treated and expected to work and the work load has clearly increased so much more with the covid situation but simple things like having the basic effective essentials would help.
How’s this for an example? The disposable plastic aprons the staff have to wear have been changed to what the staff believe is a cheaper version but consider this. The staff are generally working at speed and need this equipment to be efficient and effective but more often than not the aprons are pulled off the roll only to be thrown in the bin as they don’t tear off clean and cannot be worn. So is that cost effective? Unlikely? whilst also taking up time to get to patients which in some cases have life threatening conditions and I witnessed the frustration on the faces of staff again and again over something that could be sorted so easily.
It would be easy for me to say what the politicians say on national TV about the NHS staff along the lines of what a great job they do but is that just lip service they pay because that is what they think people want to hear after they have put in a flying visit to a hospital for publicity reasons.
Ladies and gentlemen in the Government here is a suggestion that I think you all should undertake.
Firstly read the book THIS IS GOING TO HURT secret diary of a junior doctor by Adam Kay as I did a few weeks ago and to be honest I thought some of the stories in it were farfetched but let me tell you from my own experience I now know they were true
Come on MP’s rather than carry out a flying visit to a hospital spend three full days at your local hospital as I am sure they must all be under the same pressures?
Spend day 1 in A & E
Day 2 in the Resus unit
Day 3 on a ward
Let me assure you whatever you think you know about the NHS staff it will open your eyes and minds and then ask yourself would you undertake this work for the reward they get, and let me answer this for you .
My view is that I think all the NHS staff are very special people who deserve better treatment in their place of work.
I will finish this journey by scoring the staff and people I came in contact with at Addenbrookes hospital and it is only there pride and will to help others that keeps them going but they are at breaking point and need more help now before they leave the service.
Paramedics 10 out of 10
A & E Doctors 10 out of 10
A & E Nursing staff 10 out of 10
Resus staff 10 out of 10
Scanning department 10 out of 10
Porters 10 out of 10
Catering staff 10 out of 10
Cleaning staff 10 out of 10
Now whilst I have scored every department 10 out 10 and the powers in charge will say that is because everything is place and working well but that is far from the case as it appears to be very close to being unworkable and if any further pressure is put on the system I cannot see how it will cope as they already appear to be far below the number of staff required in every depatment.
I really am grateful to each and every one of you who helped me in my time of need. And think the quote from Winston Churchill some’s you all up.
NEVER WAS SO MUCH OWED TO SO MANY BY SO FEW.
As I mentioned at the start of my week 6 diary my steps have been very low with only 35494 this week
Taking the total steps to date to 610.687
Donation total now at £3.755 leaving £6245 to the £10.000 target
I must thank the generosity of the sponsors that have again been kind enough donate money this week.
Hortech Systems Ltd
Not forgetting the anonymous donations
I hope to be well enough moving forward in week 7 to start getting some more steps on the board to enable the 1 million step total to be achieved
Ian Darler B.E.M