SUP team sets sail on epic 210 mile paddle for mind

30 March, 22

Russell Roof Tiles has launched its charity programme with an epic SUP paddleboard challenge to raise money for mental health charity Mind.

Pitched roof tile manufacturer Russell Roof Tiles (RRT) recently announced its ambitious target to raise a £50,000 for good causes this year, with a project called Give 4 Good. Russell Roof Tiles employs 140 people at two sites in Burton, and one in Lochmaben (Scotland).

The “Give 4 Good” the project is part of the firm’s celebration of 10 years of independence.

The first charity event sees a team of eight, paddling collectively 210 miles (the distance between the Russell Roof Tile Burton and Lochmaben sites), between March and June 2022. The team includes three who are complete beginners, all are staff, or partners of staff, at the roofing firm.

The team are paddling the waterways, River Trent and canal close to Burton for the challenge to raise money for Burton & District Mind who are celebrating 30 years. The local charity provides a range of high-quality counselling services, supported by mindfulness, eco-therapy, workplace health, peer support and employability & tenancy services. Typically, they see 3000 people a year, but in 2022, they will need to support many more.

Russell Roof Tiles is a keen advocate of positive mental health and in November launched its first dedicated programme to support its own team’s mental health and wellbeing, including in person and virtual one to one session and groups sessions.

The Russell Roof Tiles SUP team is aiming to raise at least £2,000 for Mind and was the brainchild of its Managing Director’s wife at Russell Roof Tiles, Coral Hayward who took up the sport last year. Coral commented “Paddleboarding is proven to help reduce anxiety and depression and a few of the Russell Roof Tiles staff members already enjoy SUP. With this challenge we’re combining a healthy sport which can really help with positive mental health to raise cash for a mental health charity which desperately needs funding. Our team is also being supported and trained by local expert, Dawn Smitten, Instructor and Owner of Burton Upon SUP.”

Lynne Barrell, Chief Officer from Burton & District Mind commented “Our community is now in a mental health emergency. The pandemic has had a devastating effect on vulnerable people with existing mental health problems, with increased loneliness and poverty. But even more alarming, we have seen a rapid and lasting increase in people showing the tell-tale signs of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Furthermore, we are now seeing emotional burnout from frontline staff, carers and those key family members who have been looking after everyone else!”

“The generous commitment to fundraising by Russell Roof Tiles and Burton Upon SUP will enable Burton & District Mind to help even more people, supporting a growing range of projects, such as self-help groups and eco-therapy. These projects put people who are experts by experience of recovery at the heart of the delivery of mental health services, whilst helping their own personal development and employability. The fundraising will power the message across the community for the post-pandemic recovery: “Please talk, we are listening. You are worth the help and together we’ll find you help.”

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive found that in the UK alone, more than 400,000 working days were lost to mental health issues in 2018, with mental health issues costing the sector approximately £37 billion every year.

Andrew Hayward, Managing Director at Russell Roof Tiles added “Supporting our local communities is a core part of our values, we are committed to supporting causes and charities important to our team and neighbours.”

The team has set up a Just Giving page for the event.

Russell Roof Tiles is a leading independent pitched roof tile manufacturer supplying products for the top housebuilders and high-profile social housing and commercial projects. The company produces thousands of tiles every week that are used on roofing across the UK, for all the UK’s premier housebuilders and developers.

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