5th November 2021 — Year 6 St Francis pupil Henry set himself the ambitious target of cycling 500km in one month to raise vital funds for CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).
Henry first became involved with mental health charity CALM when he took part in ‘Ride on Nelly’; the Test Valley sportive organised in memory of professional snowboarder Nelson Pratt who sadly lost his life to suicide in 2021.
Henry’s mother, Antonia, explained: "When Henry first took part in ‘Ride on Nelly’ he was floored by the reality that someone could be a professional snowboarder, with a seemingly idyllic life, and struggle to such an extent with their mental health.
"The lack of provision, especially for young men, is something Henry has become increasingly passionate about over the years."
Accompanied by his father, James, and various friends, Henry managed to reach his target of cycling 500km in just 21 days, and smashed his fundraising target of £1,000, ending the challenge on nearly £1,500 in donation for CALM.
Henry added: "I really wanted to do something positive to raise money for a charity which does such incredible work.
"Exercise is well known to create endorphins, which make you happy, so I thought it was right to do a physical challenge (which makes me happy).
"I was amazed to find out that each week in the UK 125 people take their own lives, and 75% of these are men; I really believe in the ethos of CALM who are there for people who need to talk about life, and to support those affected by suicide."
Headmaster at St Francis, David Sibson, enthused: "Henry is an incredibly determined member of the school community, and this extraordinary physical challenge is testament to his enduring grit.
"I am exceptionally proud of how much he has raised for such a worthy cause, and have no doubt that he will continue to push himself for worthy causes in the future. Well done!”