A Movember ambassador from Leyland will walk Preston Guild Wheel to bring his total distance covered this month to 250km.Advertisement
Bob Flood set out to complete 200km as part of his Movember fundraising activity, but extended the distance after smashing his original target.
Bob, who has previously spoken to Blog Preston about his journey to opening up about mental health, will carry a giant moustache around the Guild Wheel when he takes on the 21-mile circuit on Saturday (28 November).
Setting off from the Conti at 7am, Bob is hoping to see family and friends around the course – at a safe distance – and be able to raise awareness of the cause with other walkers and cyclists.
This Movember has been very different of course due to Covid-19, and the month started for Bob with a lockdown shave down.
Bob said: “I was invited to join the Movember virtual shave down event, which was hosted by comedian Ali Brice. I went to The Gentry Barbers and had my beard shaved off while lots of people watched on Zoom.
“Since then I’ve been busy with hosting virtual quizzes and escape rooms to raise funds. I also held the first socially-distanced walk as part of the Walk&Talk4Men initiative.
“In terms of my own walking challenge I’ve been getting out twice a day on weekdays and doing longer walks at the weekend. So far I’ve done over 40 hours of walking. On average, one man dies by suicide every minute worldwide, meaning around 2,400 men would have died during that time.
“My walks are poignant as I often start in the dark and then it gets lighter – it’s like my mental health journey of coming out of the darkness and into the light from the ability to talk and share.”
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As well as Bob’s fundraising total growing throughout the month, his moustache has also been gathering pace – much to his wife Becky’s amusement.
She said: “It’s a monstrosity! There are two massive handlebars and it’s ridiculous. I’ll be glad when he grows his normal beard back.”
Not that many people have been able to see Bob’s moustache in real life this year, with face masks being a requirement when out and about in public.
But despite this and all the other challenges caused by Covid-19, Bob has almost reached his £1,000 target. He says he’s been blown away by the response to his fundraising.
“I want to thank everyone who has supported me this month – and throughout my journey and previous Movember campaigns.
“With the pandemic, many people have been financially restricted. I’ve been amazed by people’s generosity and kind comments, this year more than ever. It’s amazing how you can adapt.”
Nobody is prouder of how Bob has adjusted than Becky. She has even nominated Bob in the Movember awards for the difference he is making to other men.
“Bob’s done a great job at pulling people together. It’s been an even bigger challenge this year and he’s adapted really well.
“I can see the impact in some of our male friends who are more open and comfortable about talking. The money he’s raising is fantastic, but the most important thing is helping with mental health. I’m massively proud of him.”
Unsurprisingly, Bob and Becky’s advice for getting through the coming winter months includes walking. They both extol the virtues of daily walks for mental wellbeing, whatever the weather.
Bob said: “A lot of people are working from home, and it’s so easy to just get up and sit at your desk all day with no time to yourself.
“It’s so important to get outside, even if it’s just to walk around the garden. If you can use your lunch break wisely, you’ll feel so much better afterwards.
“The other thing I would say is don’t be afraid to reach out, as people will want to listen.
“Also, don’t be afraid to reach in if you notice a change in attitude or behaviour from someone. Ask if they’re okay and then ask them again. Listen, encourage them to take action, and check in. It’s not always easy so Movember Conversations gives some tips on how to approach it.”
To donate to Bob’s fundraising, visit the Movember website.
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What do you think of Bob’s work to raise funds and awareness of men’s mental health? Let us know in the comments.