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Yachtsmen off to Bergen for Mind Your Head fundraiser

A GROUP of local men are setting off to Norway on Saturday to take part in the Bergen to Lerwick yacht race – while raising awareness of local charity Mind Your Head (MYH) and its initiative to encourage men to talk about mental health.

They will be on board the Lerwick based ‘Roundabout’ yacht for the race which starts from Bergen on 22 June. They expect to be back in Shetland on Friday (24( with the rest of the fleet, before setting off again on Saturday (25) for the return leg back to Bergen.

The Bergen race (or “Shetland race” as the Norwegians term it) has been a colourful and popular event marking mid-summer for many years.  This year is the event’s 30th anniversary and will see in excess of 30 Norwegian yachts taking part along with some other international competitors.

 “It is good to have someone flying the Shetland flag in the fleet,” said Roundabout skipper Tommy Allan. “We always enjoy welcoming the Norwegian visitors to the harbour and thought it was time to give them some competition.”

As well as enjoying the sport, the men have decided to raise awareness of Mind Your Head and in particular ‘The Grubby Hut Initiative’ where MYH staff visit male-dominated workplaces to speak with men in their canteens (or grub huts) about mental health.

The initiative has proven to be very successful, according to MYH project manager Anouska Civico, and the charity is still rolling the programme out across the isles.

She said: “It really is great that these guys want to raise awareness of our work here and encourage more men to talk about mental health.

“The idea of the Grubby Hut is to encourage men in particular to speak more openly with colleagues and family and friends about mental health like we do about physical health.

“The guys assure me that during their time together on the boat they will cover a multitude of topics, sport, religion, politics and mental health will come up too!”

  • You can sponsor the team’s fundraising effort for Mind Your Head by visiting this link.
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