Autumn 23 news

Autumn 2023 News

Trekking for Tomorrow

Vanessa and Jim at the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park taking part in the Trek for Life

Who would have thought that a Saturday in early September would turn out to be the hottest day of 2023 in the UK? Certainly not us: we’d planned our hike along the Horseshoe Ridge in the beautiful Bannau Brycheiniog National Park (formerly the Brecon Beacons) months in advance and had hoped for a dry and bright day, with no temperature extremes! We partnered with our friends at the Mindstep Foundation, an organisation based in Newport, South Wales, founded by the Davies family in memory of their son and brother, Max, who took his life in August 2018. We set off in 30-degree heat and very quickly found ourselves climbing up the steep rocky path to the exposed ridge which links the peaks, including Pen y Fan, which, at 886m, is the highest point in the south of Britain. 

The Mindstep guys, being more familiar with the terrain, were definitely the hardiest! We were slower and somewhat defeated by the heat, but we enjoyed the glorious, sweeping views and felt we did okay, considering the extreme temperatures. It was certainly a day to remember and we raised over £1,300 towards our new film projects!

Bath Half Heroes

A huge thanks and congratulations to our wonderful runners in ‘Team BiM’, who ran the Bath Half Marathon in aid of Boys in Mind on Sunday 15th October.  Around 9,300 runners tackled the 13.1 mile (21 km) course around the streets of Bath, starting and finishing in Royal Avenue, in front of the world-famous Royal Crescent. The weather could not have been better – bright sunshine, but not too hot – and our runners did us proud! For some, this was their first half marathon; for others, it was a chance to chalk up a personal best. So far, we have raised almost £4,000 and sponsorship is still coming in – you can donate via this link or watch our short film here.

Bath Uni Fundraisers

Earlier this summer, we were fortunate to work with a team of business and marketing undergraduates at the University of Bath. Their brief was to create a fundraising event for us – with the emphasis firmly upon fun and they delivered! ‘Throwback Thursday’, hosted by Revolution in central Bath, was a party night featuring music from the early 2000s and it was a sell-out. Our thanks to Neel and the team – the event raised a very welcome £450 towards our awareness work in local schools.

Family Fun Day Out

The BiM team was out in force the day before the Bath Half Marathon for a linked event which saw us take over part of a gigantic marquee in Victoria Park, Bath to run some children’s art activities as part of the annual Family Fun Day and Fun Run around the park. We met lots of lovely families, chatted to parents and carers about our work and encouraged the young people to use their imagination to draw things that they do to feel happy, using our ‘Jigsaw’ theme (finding Joy, being Inclusive, Giving back, getting plenty of Sleep, keeping Active and treasuring Wow moments!). 

Enjoying the Family Fun Day

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Join us at Bath Independent Market!

We’ll be at Bath Independent Market in November and December

This amazing market runs one Sunday a month in Bath’s newly refurbished Green Park Station. It’s a really vibrant event, showcasing local independent artisans, designers and traders. If you are after retro, vintage or simply unique items, this is the place for you!  We were fortunate enough to have a stall at the October market where we chatted to lots of people interested in our work. We will have stalls at upcoming markets on Sunday 19th November and Sunday 17 December (11-4pm) – come and say hello!  

Living with Bipolar

In our latest podcast (link below) our Youth Advisor, Daisy Exton, is joined by Jon Brown, who talks about his struggles and triumphs living with bipolar disorder and how he draws upon his relationship with his family and other techniques to make the most of life. Click here to go to our podcast page.

Lighthouse - A Beacon of Hope

Jim Cumpson at the Lighthouse conference in Belfast

The Lighthouse Charity in Belfast invited Jim, Will and Andrew to represent BiM at a conference held in September to celebrate 20 years working to prevent suicide in Northern Ireland and to forge new links in tackling the continuing mental health crisis. We presented our award-winning film, Will’s Story, in which Will talks openly about his struggles with his mental health.  We showed a second film, In Memory of Carl, featuring three young men from Belfast, Ryan, Donal and Connor, who talk about their feelings after the suicide of their friend, Carl, in May 2020, a week after his sixteenth birthday. This was followed by a Q&A discussing the films and our work with young people. It was a very emotional day and testament to the importance of the work we do.

Remembering Lewis

Lewis collage for 21st birthday

Lewis McCracken was born on 24th September 2002, so this year, he would have been 21. However, in April 2020, he took his own life. These are the words of his father, Ian: ‘We continue to think of Lewis every day and wonder what he would be like now. Nearly three and a half years later, we still don’t understand the whys and never will. Our message to anyone who might be having similar thoughts as Lewis did in April 2020, is please, please, talk to someone. Don’t be impulsive like Lewis was: time moves fast until it stops, then it’s never the same for those you choose to leave behind. Problems go away, things can change, but you need to start a conversation to make that happen.’ You can see some Lewis’s story in our short film here

Working with Mighty Girls

We’ve been working with Mighty Girls, a Wiltshire-based organisation focussed on inspiring and empowering girls, to create a film exploring what is meant by ‘consent’ and how to create meaningful and respectful conversations amongst young people on this subject. Two focus groups were created, one for girls, the other for boys, each group meeting regularly over a two-month period to discuss every aspect of consent in its broadest sense.

The boys’ group was held at Ralph Allen school in Bath and led by BiM Youth Advisor, Ed, whilst the girls’ group was led by Charlotte, a Mighty Girls Youth Leader. The groups then came together to exchange their thoughts and ideas, including what messages they’d received from sex education classes, male role models, ‘toxic masculinity’ and how things could be improved. The resulting film captures some very thoughtful and perceptive insights. Our film, launched in early October to a packed room at Widcombe Social Club in Bath, was followed by a Q&A session, where Ed, Charlotte and other young people discussed how important it is for young people to have frank and respectful conversations around consent.

BiM Shortlisted for National Award

BiM – Shortlisted for this year’s National Diversity Awards

In September, we celebrated being shortlisted at the National Diversity Awards in Liverpool. Hailed as ‘the Golden Globes of the diversity world’, the evening was hosted by renowned presenter and author, Clare Balding, CBE. 

An astonishing 90,000 people and organisations were nominated this year, so we were delighted to learn that Boys in Mind was one of eight charities shortlisted for the Community Organisation Award for Gender. Our CEO, Jim Cumpson, joined representatives from community organisations across the UK for the award ceremony held at Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral. He commented: ‘It was a great honour for Boys in Mind to be nominated alongside so many inspiring organisations and individuals. I hope this raises awareness of the challenges associated with encouraging young men and boys to talk about their mental health.’

Growing for Life

Grow for Life, Nurture with Nature

Introducing our exciting new gardening project! We are working with Grow for Life, a local charity supporting individuals experiencing low confidence, anxiety, depression and isolation. Each term, Jim takes a group of eight Beechen Cliff students (Years 7-9) to do some therapeutic gardening on Friday afternoons. The boys are working in a walled garden just outside Bath, helping to grow vegetables. This beautiful environment not only offers them a safe space, but working in the open air also provides opportunities to speak more easily than in classroom settings. Our hope is that this will improve the boys’ mental wellbeing, build skills and create connections.

3 SG Charity Volunteer Fair

BiM joined 42 other charities in early September for a day promoting and celebrating local volunteering. The Volunteer Fair was held at the Apex Hotel in Bath and hosted by 3SG, a local network of over 200 charities, social enterprises and community groups. Our stand was in pole position right by the entrance, so we attracted maximum footfall!  We chatted to some wonderful people willing to offer their time to benefit a local good cause. These events are so valuable, not only to raise awareness of our organisation and its work, but also to network and share ideas with our peers in other local charities and community groups.

Support us

If you would like to support us in any way please get in touch via the following emails:

If you would like to support our work please donate to out Just Giving page by clicking the link below

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