It’s just a week until the start of Go Sober for October, which challenges social drinkers to give up alcohol for a month to help raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Among the 32,600 people already signed up to take part across the UK is Macmillan Wales’s very own Mike Houghton.
Mike has worked as fundraising manager for Swansea and Neath Port Talbot since June 2015.
His job involves supporting individuals, groups and businesses with their fundraising efforts – but Mike says he wants to lead by example and get involved in raising funds and awareness himself too.
He’s aiming to raise £150 by giving up alcohol for a month, and is already nearly half way towards meeting that total on his online fundraising page before the challenge has even started.
In fact, a total of £348,255 has been raised by Go Sober participants already, with the total expected to rise as the month continues.
Mike – who will be recording regular videos for Macmillan Wales about his attempt – says, “I come from the north of England where there is a big drinking culture, as there is in Wales. I’ve always enjoyed a drink.
“I think the longest I have probably ever gone without a drink is about a week so it will be a good personal challenge to me, as well as a chance to raise awareness and money for people living with cancer.”
Five months ago, Mike and his wife Meinir became parents to a baby girl, Gwennan.
He’s hoping to benefit from the health benefits of a month without alcohol and is adamant he won’t be replacing alcohol with another vice, chocolate or cake for example.
As well as his 31st birthday falling on October 31, he says another big challenge will be spending the first two days of his challenge in France, at the end of a week’s holiday. “I will be on holiday in the land of red wine and all of a sudden, I won’t be able to have any of it,” he says.
If Mike does fancy a tipple at any point during the challenge, he can buy a Golden Ticket. An additional donation of £15 gives participants a night off, while still making a difference to the lives of people affected by cancer.
The money raised by Go Sober for October will help Macmillan continue to provide services in Wales, including funding nurses, physiotherapists, welfare benefits advisers and our information centres in some of Wales’s hospitals, as well as campaigning for better cancer care for patients.
One in three of us will get cancer, with more than 130,000 people in Wales currently living with and beyond cancer.
For more information on Go Sober, or to sign up, visit the website.
You can sponsor Mike here.
For information or support from Macmillan, call us free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm) or visit www.macmillan.org.uk.