A team of milkmen are embracing the cold this winter to raise money for mental health charity.
Jamie Alcock and his small team at the Modern Milkman in Salford, are raising money for CALM by wearing shorts on their milk rounds.
‘Shorts Against Suicide’ is running throughout the entire month of December, finishing on New Year’s Eve.
Alcock explained why he chose to use his early morning rounds to raise money: “We’re working at times of unsociable hours, we’re not up when most people are up. So we can’t do a fundraiser during the day. I don’t want to be going for a run in the day then be up all night working.
“I wanted something that was a bit different, a bit challenging, not mainstream. I thought with it being the coldest time of the year, what complete opposite, rather than wrapping up, is to wear shorts.”
‘Shorts Against Suicide’ are aiming to raise £1,200 for the Campaign Against Living Miserably, or CALM.
CALM are the leading charity in suicide prevention in the U.K.
They claim that every week, 125 people take their own life, 75% of which are male.
Jamie said: “Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 40, our workforce is mainly men under the age of 40.
“Yes, we do have female milkmen in the team. But it made sense with us (The Modern Milkman) being 99% male workforce… to do something which affects most men in the U.K.”
They are hoping to raise £1200, which would fund one phone operator for a whole night.
Jamie explained his fundraising target: “When I researched into what the money can do, I learned that £1200 can run the phone line for an entire night and help 200 people.”
Worried about what the future holds? Our helpline & webchat are open from 5pm until midnight. Call us on 0800 58 58 58, or chat to our trained helpline staff online.
— CALM (@theCALMzone) December 17, 2020
Alcock will be bracing the freezing winter temperatures for a good cause: “The lowest it has been so far is -1°C or -2°C. Eveything is freezing, you’re walking down driveways slipping and sliding. It does make it fun.”
His route covers Urmston, Irlam, and Cadishead in Salford, as well as Lymm, Partington, Flixton, and Carrington.
Alcock is just over halfway of his target, and over halfway through the challenge.
He says the reaction from the community has been great: “Everyone been so positive, and supportive, and loads of messages of encouragement. Donations keep coming in, not just from friends and colleagues but also customers. So the word is getting out.”
Alcock has been working with the Modern Milkman for seven months: “All is done within reusable glass bottles, which is collected and returned to the dairies.
“We deliver a range of groceries, all in plastic-free packages. We do vegetable boxes, fruit boxes… Everything is plastic-free and 100% recyclable. It’s all about sustainability.”
They have hubs across the North, including Salford, Leeds and Burnley, with more opening in the near future.