RUGBY players, staff and volunteers are uniting to support a mental health ward in its time of need by walking five Wainwrights to raise funds.

Mental health is a concern for many during the coronavirus pandemic as people who struggle may be isolated from the things that benefit them,

On Saturday July 11, Ryan Dodgson of Frizington and Egremont ARL coach Gary Hewer will tackle Dodd, Carlside, Longside, Ullock Pike and Skiddaw joined by players from amateur clubs Whitehaven Rugby League and Workington Town and Whitehaven town councillor Carl Walmsley.

Coun Walmsley is flying the flag for mental health awareness and he is behind men’s mental health charity ‘Mind Ya Marras.’

Representatives of the charity will be joining him on the trek.

Ryan Dodgson, of Frizington Covid-19 Support Group, said: “I’ve been doing a lot of fell walking lately and I thought if I can get up this fell others can do it and raise some money.”

Ryan spoke to Mr Walmsley about mental health causes that need support.

As a result, the sponsored walk, which has a page on Go Fund Me, will raise funds for the Yewdale Ward in the West Cumberland Hospital.

Servies such as the Yewdale Ward are overstretched due to the increase in mental health crises during the Covid-19 pandemic and the Government’s lockdown restrictions.

The group is highly motivated to raise awareness of mental health issues.

They will be joined by representatives from State of Mind, a national charity that supports the mental health and wellbeing of rugby players and their communities.

Gary Hewer said that the aim is to break the stigma around male mental health.

“We don’t want any casualties," he said: “The rugby community is massive around here, whatever adversity we face, the rugby community pulls together.”

Whitehaven RL players joining the walk include Jessie Joe Parker, Karl Dixon, Connor Holliday, Jason Mossop, Sam Forrester, Ellis Gillam.