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Mental health service can grow thanks to Wigan father’s grueling ‘pub crawl’

Swinley’s Nigel Brookwell got on all fours on a veritable pub crawl last month in his latest goofy fundraising challenge.

The grueling task lasted eight and a half hours and he stopped at pubs along the way to collect donations – and refuel – as he covered the three and a half mile route.

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Nigel Brookwell crawled from Wigan to Standish

It took two weeks for Nigel to recover but he has no regrets after raising £6,600 for Wigan-based Empathy Northwest CIC.

The organization is run by volunteers and offers therapy sessions and other forms of support at a subsidized rate for people struggling with their mental health.

Nigel, 48, wanted to do something to help after hearing about skyrocketing waiting lists for NHS mental health support.

He traveled to his base on Library Street in Wigan town center to hand over a check for the money he had raised.

Nigel Brookwell visited Empathy North West to present the check to Volunteer Manager Jaynie Ross and Founder Caroline Sephton

He said: “The target was £5,000 so I’m delighted to have raised £6,600.

“This money will give them stability in terms of how to pay for counseling and therapy services. The building they are in is very old and this money will also allow them to renovate several rooms that are currently out of order and this will allow enable them to expand their services and meet demand.

“It was really nice to hear that. At the end of the day, the focus is always on the charities that need the money and it’s really nice to hear those details about where the money is going. silver.”

Nigel hopes his colossal efforts have also helped spread awareness of Empathy Northwest’s work.

He said: “It really picked up steam in the city and people were interested not only in what I was doing but also why I was doing it, and that’s really important.

“I’ll never really know if it helped anyone in particular, but it didn’t hurt. There may be people who didn’t donate, but found out about organization and it could help them in the fullness of time.”

This isn’t the first time Nigel has taken on a wacky challenge for a good cause. His previous fundraisers have included walking part of the Wigan 10k in a vintage four-stone wetsuit and pushing a hospital bed 10 miles at the Run Wigan Festival.

And although he’s just recovering from his pub crawl, he’ll tackle his next feat this weekend.

Nigel will be part of a team taking a relay hike to Snowdon in the vintage wetsuit, a challenge postponed from 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “I had to remotivate myself from what I’ve been doing and hit the gym to be on the team with these lovely people. This is to raise money for a young girl in North Wales who needs surgery for her hearing.