CHARITY staff took on a sponsored walk to raise awareness of mental health yesterday, raising hundreds of pounds in the process.

One week before World Mental Health Day, Gofal's Torfaen team travelled between Pontypool’s Tesco store and Cwmbran Shopping Centre, collecting donations on the way.

There were information stands from the mental health charity at the start and finish with the walking team also joined by Matt Williams, of The Dragons, who promoted sports-based youth projects.

The walking team raised more than £400 so far for the charity’s crisis fund and were also joined by Pontypool RFC chief executive, Ben Jeffreys who recently went public about his own struggles with OCD and depression.

On Twitter, he said he was “honoured” to be invited to the event.

Senior case manager for Gofal in Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent, Marc Jones, said the event was about “starting a conversation about mental health” and thanked everyone for their involvement.

All funds will go towards the Gofal Crisis fund – an internal pot that can be accessed by service users who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, mental health crisis.

This includes applying for a grant of up to £250 to purchase whatever they need to overcome the crisis and is often used as a last resort.

Examples applications to the fund include a bed for someone currently sleeping on the floor, a fridge to prevent food from spoiling, a week of food for a family whose benefits have been suspended, moving costs for someone fleeing domestic violence and help with debts to prevent homelessness.

Gofal are a leading Welsh mental health and wellbeing charity and provide a wide range of services to people with mental health problems supporting their independence, recovery and wellbeing.

For information,