Mission Accomplished for World Mental Health Day

On World Mental Health Day, two local North Yorkshire outdoor enthusiasts have today just finished a gruelling 109 mile walk of the Cleveland Way to raise awareness and funds for a mental health charity.

Ben Potter of Birds of Prey Displays and Simon Whitehead of Pakefield Ferrets supporters of NYMMO ‘Walked and Talked’ the route in just under three days.

Internationally renowned falconer Ben Potter walked the whole 109 miles accompanied by his pet dog Lena and was accompanied for large stretches by ferreting expert and journalist, Simon Whitehead and his dog Tawny. The back up support was provided by John Cavana of NYMMO.

There are a number of fantastic charities out there supporting mental health, and for this particular venture the group chose YANA (You are not alone) which offers help for those in farming who may be affected by stress and depression.  The total raised so far stands at £1,330.00 with the Virgin Money giving-page remaining open for the next two months.


John Cavana of NYMMO, said: “Ben and Simon have braved the elements, experiencing four seasons in one day, as they have battled through a combination of exhilaration and exhaustion along the way. They have done a fantastic job to help raise awareness for mental health as this is one of the hardest things they have put themselves through – it has certainly tested their endurance and mindset.

“It’s been a brotherhood of friendship throughout the journey – I have offered them warm drinks, a bed at night and a lot of deep heat and moral support, and some friends have also come out at various stages of the route to walk a few miles for encouragement.”

Tina Brough, coordinator of NYMMO, said: “The walk, completed by Ben and Simon is a great example of spending time together and to highlight the importance of listening and talking each and every day.

“Mental health issues can affect anyone, and mental health wellbeing is so important. It’s time to lose the stigma behind mental health. Mental health is especially noticeable in the farming and gamekeeping community where many lonesome days are spent out on the hills. Outdoor activities are great for mental health, wellbeing and health in general, it’s good to talk and equally important to know that there is always someone out there who will listen.”