A GROUP of 15 took part in a gruelling 24-hour three peak challenge in order to fundraise for farmers who suffer with mental health.

Agricultural worker, David Matthews, 31, from Wrexham, led the National Three Peaks Challenge, which saw him and 14 others trek the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales, which commenced on July 27.

The group travelled to Scotland to reach Ben Nevis, then followed by Scafell Pike in England and then finally ending up in Snowdon for their final climb.

Speaking of what motivated him to take part in this particular challenge, Mr Matthews spoke candidly about the hidden hardships of his industry, which led to the death of his close friend and former boss, Geoff Done in 2018.

He said: “When a group of my friends invited me to join them on the challenge I couldn’t refuse.

“The DPJ Foundation and their mission is a cause close to my heart.

“When a good friend of mine took his own life last year, the realisation of the unsung pressure and stresses of our industry hit me.

“I did this for all the farmers in the UK who are struggling with burdens and to remember that they can always ask for assistance and support.

“But I also did it in memory of Geoff Done.”

So far, the group has raised over £6,820, despite their original target being set at £4,500 for the DPJ Foundation, which is a charity based in Pembrokeshire, South Wales and supports those in rural communities and in agriculture with mental health problems.

Fellow challenger, Richard Bostock, 29, from Wrexham, expressed the important message behind this challenge and hopes to continue to raise awareness of this taboo topic.

“Those who work within this industry need to start asking for help when they need it.

“Farmers are very proud people and tend to keep themselves to themselves but interaction is vital.

“Issues such as financial pressures, market uncertainty and isolation contribute to mental health within farmers.

“I wanted this challenge to grab people’s attention due to it being one of the hardest things I could’ve thought of doing.

“The group consisted of a diverse group of people who all had different but personal reasons in taking part. “

Mr Bostock hopes to hold an event every other year to support this cause and is open to any suggestions from Leader readers.

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