Motivated by loss, James Mooney has completed 100 consecutive grueling days of 5K running on behalf of the Sunflowers Suicide Support group.
James, who is head of football operations at Forest Green Rovers, started his epic challenge in January after being motivated to raise money for the Stroud-based charity created in memory of his family friend Pete Morris who died in 2016 and the recent loss of former Forest Green captain Lee Collins.
James said: “His family developed the charity to walk alongside others bereaved by suicide and to be a small ray of light in the darkness; offering others comfort and support that is so desperately needed at such a difficult time. Sunflowers look to provide other families with practical and professional support so they do not feel overwhelmed and alone.
“Sunflowers also raise awareness around mental health and suicide both on social media and by networking locally and nationally. They deliver accredited training to the wider community and presentations sharing their story.”
James admitted the challenge was a tough one, but he certainly stepped up to the plate.
He added: “When I started the challenge, I never thought I would be able to run 5K every single day for 100 days without a break. But, it was the help and support of my family plus everyone who joined me for a run that helped me through those cold mornings and wet evenings. Some people I know have now started running themselves because of my challenge, which is great – and it just shows the power of social media when promoting charities.
“Exercising is a great way to bring people together and help with their mental health. If doing this challenge has raised awareness and helped people to become more active, it feels like job done for me. I’ll continue to run and maybe start a new challenge later in the year, but at the moment, I’m enjoying some rest days.”
James is delighted to blitz his anticipated money target, he said: “I started off wanting to raise £250 – and that target has been smashed, with the total amount raised being over £1,500. I’m very grateful for every single donation and hopefully by doing this, we can continue to spread the message that it’s okay to talk openly about how you’re feeling.
“Whilst completing the challenge, I received the sad news about Lee Collins, which was a real eye-opener for me and made me even more determined to raise as much money as I could. ‘Collo’ was a great lad off the pitch and someone I stayed in contact with after he left FGR. He will be missed by so many and my thoughts go to his family. He’s loved across every single one of his former clubs – and the way Yeovil have handled the news is a real credit to them as a football club.”
You can donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/James-Mooney1983