Funeral boss takes on week-long medicine ball challenge to raise mental health awareness

A funeral home manager spent an entire week with a 5kg weight strapped to his wrist to raise vital charity funds and awareness around mental health.

Carl Tate took part in the Medicine Ball Challenge which sees participants cuff a 3kg medicine ball – and 2kg chain – to themselves for seven days.

The nationwide initiative was created by a serving British Army soldier who had seen friends and family struggle with mental health issues.

The idea is that the ball is a physical, visual, and tangible representation of the invisible burden of mental health.

Carl, 38, was only allowed to remove the chain for driving, sleeping, showering and when he was conducting funeral services on behalf of Daren Persson Funeral Services in Walton Avenue, North Shields, and John Blenkiron and Sons in Queens Road, Richmond – both of which are part of the Funeral Partners network.

Cash raised from the challenge will be split between two charities, Combat Street and ABF – The Soldiers’ Charity.

“It was really difficult – harder than I thought it was going to be,” Carl said.

“Simple things you take for granted like writing emails and other small tasks are really difficult with the medicine ball on.

“You have really got to think about every movement.

“But it is a good parallel for the struggles people with mental health issues deal with day in and day out.

“And it did help strike up a few conversations, which is exactly the point.

“I was watching my son play football and a few of the other parents were obviously intrigued and asked what it represented.

“I was also stopped quite a few times when I was out and about with people wondering why on earth I had a medicine ball strapped to my wrist.

“Once I explained it to them, I hope it made them think a bit more about mental health.”

To donate to Carl’s fundraising visit