Gary takes Dry January to next level with mental health challenge

Ely man raises over £2,500 for mental health charity Mind

Gary Creak (far right) raised £2,535 for mental health charity Mind's Ely branch by drinking no alcohol throughout 2021. - Credit: Linda Hargreaves

A man who suffered from mental health issues has raised over £2,500 for charity by avoiding alcohol for more than a year. 

Gary Creak of Ely was suffering with mental health problems, such as depression, in 2020 but was offered support from the likes of family and friends. 

“I wanted to give something back, so I thought a good way was to raise money for Mind,” he said. 

So, Gary decided to take Dry January to the next level by going through 2021 without drinking any alcohol. 

The train conductor was successful, and has raised £2,535 for the Ely Mind branch, something he certainly did not expect. 

“To be honest, the amount raised is unbelievable,” said Gary. 

“I only wanted to raise £500 and I got that in the first few hours.” 

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Gary, also a matchday volunteer at Ely City FC, hopes that by taking on a challenge like this, he can help encourage those in a similar situation to make a difference to their lives. 

“Doing a challenge like this gives you a totally different perspective when you have mental health issues,” he added. 

“Some people with mental health issues ask ‘what’s the best advice to improve?’ 

“I say to speak to someone you trust as bottling it up is the worst thing you can do.”