2020 Sober Vision – Part 1


I wanted to do some kind of challenge in 2020 to help raise money for a mental health charity. As may or may not be aware, I have struggled with mental health and anxiety issues for the past couple of years, especially in 2018 and 2019, so I was determined to do something in 2020 to help raise money for MIND. Sort of giving something back and saying ‘thank you’ to them, as they have many good articles and booklets on helping dealing with MH and anxiety issues. Many of which I have used extensively in the past. I guess you could say, it’s just ‘good karma’!

Mind Charity Image

Firstly, I didn’t want to do anything athletic, like a sponsored run or walk, mainly because I am not the most athletic person. I just know that if I started training for a half marathon or 10k run, I know it would come to grief no matter how much an improvement it would give to my overall health. Either my dodgy right knee would start screaming in pure agony at the slightest of jogs, I would gain shin-burning shin splints, embarrassingly do a “Paula Radcliffe” whilst running, or a combination of all three. No amount of charity money is going to make me risk crapping myself in public, whilst hobbling around on one leg, I can tell you…

Another option would have been to plan some kind of sponsored event, such as a sponsored groundhop for example. I had organised and planned something similar back in 2013 (where the heck have those seven years gone????) when three friends and I visited all 12 original members of the English Football League, as well as a few other historical clubs, within a time limit of 88 hours. ‘The 1888 Challenge’ was a really good trip, where we met a lot of fantastic people at the many clubs we visited (Notts County was a disappointing exception), whilst seeing a lot of the stadiums such as the dressing rooms, trophy rooms, etc,. In the end we managed to raise roughly £450 for Macmillan, which was a good amount for a worthy charity.

At Stoke City during the 1888 Challenge

A similar event I did have partially planned was to visit every football ground that has a team in the Welsh league system playing on them, in the counties of Flintshire, Denbighshire and Wrexham. It would have to be all done within 24 hours, and it would be done on the day of the Summer Solstice to get the maximum amount of sunlight. Thus it could have been called “The 94th Minute’s Longest Day”…not a bad idea huh…maybe one day in the future, perhaps?

However because of my recent fluctuating mental health and anxiety issues, I was a little worried that they would flare-up again if I tried to organise another sponsored groundhop, or did another event that was scheduled for a particular day. Plus I wanted to do something a little different to be honest!

It was whilst having a bottle of ale at home that the idea struck me like a lightning bolt, or it could have been the alcohol in the beer, either way. Why don’t I give up something for the WHOLE of 2020, and in particular, give up all alcoholic drinks for 2020?! It should be a lot easier on any potential anxiety flare-ups, plus I would be doing it throughout the year, and not just one single event. Rather conveniently, I could also write about my journey in various blogs (hello!) throughout the year to keep people updated on my challenge…You know how much I love to blog about things!

So there we have it, that’s how it came about! The #94thMinSober2020 challenge started when the clocks all struck 12 midnight (GMT), and the firework displays were in full Armageddon mode. I started the challenge off with a large bottle of Welsh dŵr, and followed it up throughout the day with numerous cups of tea, and a can of Tesco’s own cream soda! Nice! I have also realised how big a challenge this could become, with everyone making that “oooooh” and sucking in air gesture when telling them about the challenge. I think I may have underestimated this challenge somewhat!

A massive THANK YOU to everyone who has donated already! Prior to even the challenge starting, I managed to raise £140 for 11 amazing donators – that’s already 38% of the initial target reached!!! Amazing!!! Anyway, here is a list of the people who have donated, and are bloody brilliant people:

  • David Preece
  • Anna McManus-Hughes
  • Darren Sweeney
  • Paul Brotherton
  • Anthony Roberts
  • Karl & Kaz Hughes
  • Claire Begbie
  • Dave Jones
  • Rich Whittam
  • Martin Plays CM
  • Aron & Elan Jeffery

THANK YOU SO MUCH to you all for donating! Your money has given me a huuuuuge confidence boost, and a massive amount of determination to smash this challenge! I will not let you down folks!

I will keep you updated on my progression of the challenge throughout the year, where you can chuckle at me slurping on soft drinks whilst everyone is merry on some kind of alcohol haha. The first real challenge will be when I do something for my birthday next week (I shall await your multiple birthday presents with baited breath haha)! All day drinking is a certain no-go, unless I restrict myself to sampling the various bottles of water Chester or Mold has to offer. “A shot of your finest tap water, good sir!

Please help promote this event as I would love to raise a lot of money for MIND and absolutely smash the £366 target out of the water! If you would like to donate, then the  JustGiving donation page is below:


Thanks for reading this first part of my charity journey everyone, and I wish you all a very happy New Year!! I hope your 2020 will be a very exciting and merry one, and think of me when you’re necking a cold pint on a warm day. I’m sure to become a soft drinks connoisseur by the end of the year! 😉



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