Schoolboy raises hundreds for mental health charity with rowing challenge

A Newtownabbey schoolboy has swapped football for rowing to raise hundreds of pounds for a mental health charity.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 3:29 pm
Jacob Richmond.

Nine-year-old Jacob Richmond last month set himself the challenge of rowing 30 miles in 30 days in support of AWARE NI, a charity which supports people with depression and bipolar disorder. 

A pupil at Whitehouse Primary, sports-mad Jacob is a budding footballer for Glentoran and Rangers Soccer Academy NI.  “He found lockdown really hard, so that inspired him to work hard and help other children while doing so,” said Jacob’s mum, Lynsay.

Writing on his JustGiving page, the primary six pupil said: “At Christmas I got a rowing machine and I use it daily to keep my fitness levels up, so I decided to put my training to good use and raise money for a worthwhile charity.   I have chosen to raise money for AWARE NI, as they help young people with depression and mental illness as well as promote mental health awareness in NI for people of all ages.”

By the time he completed his final row at the weekend, Jacob had already smashed his original £500 target, with £680 raised so far for AWARE NI.

AWARE has an established network of 24 support groups in rural and urban areas across the country, which are run by trained volunteers.

Support groups welcome people with depression and bipolar disorder as well as carers for people with the illness.

AWARE also deliver mental health and wellbeing programmes in communities, schools, colleges, universities and workplaces across Northern Ireland.

For more information on the charity, visit