A fundraising body set up three years ago in Mexborough to help people with mental health issues continues to raise thousands of pounds for charity.
The members of MINDfest are Jamie Woodcock who started the group and David Scott, Christopher Waddington and Helen Taylor.
For the past two years the group has raised money for the national mental health charity MIND mind, but when they realised none of the money was used in the local area they decided to support their local MIND charity instead.
Group member, David Scott, said: “We're now in our third year and each year we have managed to raise more money and more awareness, over the past two years we have raised around £7500 and this year we're hoping to top £5000.
We started MINDfest because we wanted to raise awareness of Mental health issues across the local community as it's such a unstated problem and there's far too much stigma surrounding mental health. All of us who plan MINDfest have all experienced mental health problems, myself included, so we really can relate to the problems that people suffer from.”
He added: “Each year we get support from company sponsors and football clubs in the form of money and raising awareness through publicity with players from the local football clubs having pictures taken with a promotional shirt we have designed.
All through the month of February we hold events every weekend which ranges from bucket collectors in local supermarkets to sponsored walks and coffee mornings, our biggest event is usually the cyclathon that we hold at Tesco Wath upon Dearne this year raising £1350.25 we couldn't do this without the support of the community champion Suzanne Nettleton who is a pivotal part of our fundraising.
“Finally we end the fundraising with a all day music event which this year is at the Ings lane club in Bolton upon Dearne where we have bands playing all through the day and night on March 2. You can get all the band information for this by clicking on our www.facebook.com/MINDfestlive Facebook link.
“This year's event will be officially opened by the Lord mayor of Barnsley and we will be releasing 50 balloons in memory of anyone that's lost the battle with mental health.”