Men lend support to MYMY calendar

Men lend support to MYMY calendar

24 November 2021

LOCAL men from all walks of life have come together to support a charity calendar to raise money for a mental health organisation.

The calendar is the work of Castlewellan woman Dawn Regan, who plans to give all proceeds to the Newcastle-based mental health charity, Mind Your Mate and Yoursel (MYMY).

The calendar has a particular focus on promoting mental health awareness amongst men and features men of ages either in the Mournes, Newcastle and other local beauty spots.

Dawn explained that she was so inspired by how the local community came together to help others during the lockdowns, she wondered how she might do something to help in her own right.

“I just thought that I wanted to do something, because I wanted to help, even in a small way. I’ve never done anything like this before,” she said. 

“Like many other I know people affected by mental health and I saw how even more help was need during and after the lockdowns. 

“In particular, I know that there is a real problem in getting men to talk about their problems and to seek help, so I wanted to do something for mens mental health.”

Dawn also wanted to provide practical people with an easy access to helpline numbers for whenever they needed help and decided that a local calendar featuring local name but also with helpline information for PIPS, Lifeline, Samaritans and MYMY and motivational quotes would be useful.

She added: “I lost a friend to suicide six years ago. I remember at the time, even trying to find helpline numbers — let alone access to services — was an absolute nightmare.

“I thought the calendar idea could help get these numbers out to people’s homes, and also raise much-needed funds for local mental health organisations.”

Although daunted by what she wanted to do, Dawn began the process of making calls and using whatever contacts she could think of and was overwhelmed with the amount of support she received from local sportsmen, voluntary workers, performers and businesspeople. 

Dawn said: “Not all of us can go out and climb mountains, run and hike to raise funds, but we can all do something to remove the stigma.

“This is something I would like to leave behind and — by the response I’ve had — I think a lot of people feel the same. So we’ve all come together collectively to help each other.”

The local men featured are — Raph O’Connor and a group from the National Search and Rescue Dog Association (NSARDA) for January, punk musician and Tai Chi instructor Petesy Burns on the top of Binnian for February, former principle and Down coaching legend PJ McGee in March; local community broadcaster and musician Sansao Dumange Junior for April; Bass Coffee Company manager Paul Tumelty in May; cold water swimming enthusiast Corky River; Cllr Alan Lewis for July; Base Coffee owner Charlie Magennis for August; South Down MLA Colin McGrath for September; cross-fit star PD Savage for August; hill walker Roger Hawthorn in November and for December Ian McSweeney, who took some of the photographs. 

Charlie Magennis said he was “humbled” to be able to help in any way.

“MYMY is a great support organisation and I was glad that the coffee shop is able to provide a base for a weekly group of people to come together and sit and have a chat as we provide tea or coffee and tray bakes,” he said.

Petesy Burns said that he was happy to get involved as it was a local community initiative.

“The calendar was all about local people helping local people and it’s been great to help get the message out to men in particular, to reach out, there are people there who care and want to help.”

Dawn was able to get 200 copies of the calendar printed due to a £500 donation from Mackle Pet Foods who support NSARDA.

“The donation means that every penny will to MYMY to help it provide local services, so I’m very grateful for their help and everyone who helped with the calendar.”

MYMY provides support in the Co Down area, including one-to-one counselling, complementary therapies, a men’s group, a women’s group and bereavement support.

The photographs for the calendar were taken by Ian McSweeney, Sarah Megaw and Martin Lenane.

Priced at a minimum donation of £8, the calendars are on sale at various local stockists, including Eurospar, Powerhouse and Nels in Castlewellan, Bin 34, Eurospar Clough, Bernies Local and Blue Bay in Dundrum, Ahead with Reita, KD Hair Salon and Base coffee house in Newcastle.

Alternatively, they can be ordered online via with an additional £2 for postage, via MyMy’s Paypal. Simply include a note with the delivery address when you make a donation.