Jack is raising funds for a local community group and hopes to encourage more people to speak out about their struggles with mental health.
The IT teacher has braved the varying weather throughout January and has challenged himself to run 31 days with 31 different groups of people to help those of all backgrounds and ages to open up about their mental health.
His aim was to raise £500 for A Platform To Talk, a mental health support group based in North East Lincolnshire. This goal has now been well and truly smashed, with Jack’s cause now having raised over £2000, and counting!
He has been joined on his running journey by many supporters including Paralympians, army reserves, barefoot runners, marathon runners and some who are complete beginners to running.
Jack said: “I think that 10k sounds achievable for a lot of people, but it’s more than enough to challenge yourself! I’ve been out in all kinds of weather, but it’s doable to try and get it done within an hour.”
A Platform To Talk was set up by Phil Merrison, someone Mr Darnell described as ‘a very good friend’. Sadly, Phil lost his life to mental health so he feels a very personal connection to the charity.
He said: “I just want to show that there’s always someone to talk to, whether you challenge yourself or just stay in your comfort zone. I just want to bring the community together and get the word out there that it’s so important to get that conversation started.”
Principal of Waltham Toll Bar Academy Nigel Whittle said: “We are all very proud of our colleague, Jack. I greatly admire his determination and discipline to take on such a hard challenge.
I am really pleased to see these issues surrounding mental health being put front and centre within our community and as a school, we at Waltham Toll Bar Academy are passionate about supporting positive mental health for all."
Jack added: “The staff and students at Waltham Toll Bar have been really supportive about my challenge. I’ve had lots of donations from staff towards the cause and lots of our students have made a point of coming up to me during the day and congratulating me on doing so well.”
Jack has received fantastic support from local people and has received a huge amount of donations towards his challenge, as well as so many joining him on his daily run.
He finalised by saying: “It is the charity that deserves all of the praise, mine is the easy part. I just go out and run the 10k, the charity does all of the hard work.”
Jack has one final run to do tomorrow evening. Anyone wishing to join him to support in his final 10k run are invited to do so at Cleethorpes Taphouse and Kitchen meeting at 6:15 for a 6:30pm set off.
You can donate towards Jack’s cause here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/January-darnell-10k