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Help Ian Darler’s Latest Charity Fundraiser

Those of you who attend our Conferences regularly will not have forgotten the astonishing presentation given by Ian Darler of Cambridge United which chronicled his mental health challenges following an accident at work.

Ian, with the help of Cambridge Charity Fund Raisers, Ian looks for people to help, especially with mental health issues in mind and right now he just over half way though his latest challenge.

Can we, as his FSOA friends and colleagues help him get to £10000? (currently at £5600).

This is the link for donations

On his “just giving” page Ian says:

A million steps from October 1st 2021 to January 1st 2022 to help Shout 85258

Having been approached by MIND and the EFL two years ago to use my journey as a case study through a difficult period of mental health following an accident I had no hesitation in agreeing to write my story in the hope it may help other people come to terms with challenging times in their own lives when dealing with mental health. My enthusiasm to help others has continued. I had to fight depression and PTSD for 6 years, sometimes working very long days and nights come home, go to bed, up again early the next morning and onto the next day having to pretend that nothing was wrong whilst receiving treatment for my condition.

I feel people who have not suffered from any form of mental health cannot really have any idea what it is like or understand that depression can be constant. Some days it is not as bad as others but on a bad day it knocks you down before you can even get out of bed. Other days it is like wearing a mask to hide the way you are feeling which in itself can be exhausting.

I am now thankfully in a much better place and have come through that period but it was one of the most challenging journeys in my life.

I was fortunate in that when I hit rock bottom I received amazing treatment from the NHS CPFT and had a few friends who came to my aid to offer support after I had been diagnosed and accepted that I needed HELP. Several of whom worked for the police, Fire and Ambulance service and had been through mental health issues themselves. They were the last people on earth that I would have imagined to have suffered with their mental health.

Since my recovery and publication of my book Life’s A Pitch and writing the chapter LIFE CHANGING I have been approached by several people who had been suffering in silence with their own mental health problems and thankfully I have been able to help them in a small way and they are now currently also in a much better place.

Depression is not like having a broken leg you don’t have a plaster cast on so people cannot see how you are feeling? If you know somebody who is going through a difficult time or have the slightest doubt about somebody who may be struggling REACH OUT. Even if you don’t think it will help DO IT even if you just ask “are you okay?” And then ask again “are you sure you are okay?” Let me tell you from my own experience it is very easy to dismiss the first “are you okay?” but the second “are you okay?” prompted me to talk. It is very likely that this person will feel very alone and you talking to them could make all the difference.

It is important at this point in time with the world as it is, the Covid pandemic and pressures of life to take care of our own and other people’s mental health and welfare. We must offer support to others who may be struggling in silence to enable them to get help and recover and hopefully find that eureka moment that I and a number of other people including the comic genius Bob Mortimer found when recovering.

Having personally suffered with depression and PTSD I appreciate how important it is to get help & support and to be able to talk to people about how you are feeling.

Below are a few things I went through personally –

Feeling low, worried, lonely, unhappy, having panic attacks, not sleeping, thinking other people would not understand, unable to talk to family and friends. Feeling I just needed to man-up. Eating all day long, putting on huge amounts of weight, feeling I was a lost cause, unable to socialise in public, hiding away, avoiding conversation, feeling trapped in a transparent bubble and not being able to break-out, loss of interest in hobbies etc and far worse things? But let me assure you that I had never experienced anything like this before my accident and it shows how your life can change in an instant..


I now talk openly about my mental health and it is becoming a normal thing to do. Why not talk about how you are feeling or your mental health instead of the weather.

Or in the words of Tears for Fears, Shout, Shout Let It all Out.

I hope that both Companies and individuals will support this challenge and also start the discussion about mental health in their work place and at home.

My aim is that the funds this challenge will raise goes some way to helping others.

All money raised through this challenge will be donated to SHOUT 85258UK

Shout is a 24 hour crisis text line, giving support to anyone who needs it.

Thank You.

Ian Darler B.E.M

Cambridge United FC / Stadium Manager

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