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A world first!

In March 2024 Mike Copeland (AKA-The Fridge Man) will be climbing Mt Kilimanjaro with a domestic fridge on his back! His 3 main aims are to raise awareness of mental health issues that affect 1 in 4 people today. Secondly to raise funds in support of North Staffs Mind and thirdly to create a world record.

Why a fridge? The fridge will be decorated in mental health phrases such as Stress, Anxiety, Suicidal thoughts etc to help people imagine the struggle of carrying the burden of poor mental health around with them 24/7.

Mike is no stranger to climbing mountains carrying a fridge. He has climbed all the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales many times and has featured on BBC1 Breakfast Show and Midlands Today as well as numerous radio interviews. During 2023 alone, he has raised over £14,000 by completing other challenges including the Three Peaks. In 2024 he intends to go for the BIG one! Mt Kilimanjaro on the border of Tanzania and Kenya.

Who is Mike Copeland? – AKA The Fridge Man
Mike is a 39 year old veteran of the Queen’s company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. Having joined the service at the age of 16 he served various roles during his tours of Bosnia and Iraq, eventually became a physical training instructor, which is where his physical fitness journey began.
After 8 years he left the service which saw the beginning of another journey, that of struggling with his own mental health. Having joined the Army so young, it was all he knew. Like so many people leaving military service, once back in civilian life, he realised just how crucial the structure, routine and discipline was in his life. Not knowing how to replace that sudden loss, he soon spiraled into depression and was drinking heavily. At the advice of a friend he decided to build on his military experience and embarked on an amateur competitive bodybuilding career. This reinstated the structure, routine and discipline that had become so crucial to his mental wellbeing. Over the following 10 years Mike achieved numerous national bodybuilding titles.
Then Covid hit! … All shows were canceled and gyms were closed! It didn’t take long for his mental health to begin plummeting back to where it was when he left the army.
Knowing that physical fitness was the key to his mental fitness, he decided to start his ambitious money raising exploits for mental health charities. His motivation was to help others who are struggling with their own mental health, whilst ensuring his own. Mike has served with several lads who have sadly taken their own lives. Male suicide rates are almost 3 times higher than that of women because women are more willing to talk about it. Mike is determined to do whatever he can to highlight the problem and to help others to realise that ‘It’s not weak to speak’.

You can support him on this amazing venture by donating to his Fundraising Page 

Businesses can sponsor him too and have their logo on the fridge itself. Please email stevechannon@nsmind.org.uk for more information and a sponsorship pack.

Posted on: 23rd November 2023

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