Chris O’Rourke from Wigan has completed an amazing drumming marathon at Manchester’s Rebellion Bar, to raise awareness and support for national charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide and the Big Issue. Through November 16th Chris, founder of the BADGERFEST festivals, drummed with 10 bands for a total six hours. To date he has raised £907 for each of the two charities.

“My aim was to raise awareness that there is help for young people struggling with suicidal thoughts,” said Chris who, through the experience of family and friends, is aware that many young people struggle with anxiety and other mental health issues.

Chris had spent the last four months, clocking up around 200 hours learning songs and rehearsing with the ten bands taking part in this marathon event. “Every band had a different style, so it was quite a challenge,” said Chris, who has been passionate about music from a very young age and after learning drums at 21, was in his first band just eight months later in January 2006. He reckons he has played in over 1,000 gigs since then.

“I am delighted to support positive mental health in young people. If we all do our bit, we can make big changes. I understand we all have our families and friends to think of first and chances are we all know someone who struggles with mental health issues. However, unfortunately we are not all trained or experts in how to help young people through life’s challenges, so the more we can raise to help charities like PAPYRUS reach out to more young people, the more young lives we can help to save.”

“This is amazing support from Chris and supporters of Badgerfest,” said Liam Durkan, Corporate Fundraising Officer at PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide. “We rely on people like Chris for the majority of our fundraising, helping us to reach out to many more young people who are struggling with life as well as our work in schools and communities.

You can watch highlights of Chris’ challenge here:

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