Andy Carra, a 31-year-old graphic designer from Southport, is training to face an unknown fighter on Saturday 13 May. The event, run by White Collar Boxing Events, will be held at Liverpool Grand Central Hall. Andy is raising money for the Prostate Cancer Research Centre and SOBS Cumbria, the latter in memory of his dad, Paul Carapanagiotu, whom he lost to suicide last year.
The event offers eight weeks of training for amateurs, culminating with the long-awaited boxing event. “It’s for people who haven’t done boxing before. You complete eight weeks of intense training and then you’re put up against someone who is a similar weight and ability to you. Everyone participating goes through three two-minute rounds.
“A lot of my family and friends are coming to watch me. My Grandad was a boxer when he was younger, so the event is kind of fitting.”
Each year, more than 6,000 people take their own lives across the UK: SOBS is a national charity which works to provide emotional support to those who have been left behind. SOBS Cumbria support groups meet once a month, with groups in North, South and West Cumbria. They also have a local 24/7 helpline.
Andy wants to raise awareness for suicide bereavement. “There’s a lot of stigma around it, and you don’t ever think it will happen to you.”
So far, Andy has raised £595, already beating his original £500 target. His new target is £1,000.
Support for people touched by suicide
If you are struggling with the death of someone who has taken their own life and need someone to listen to your experience and offer you support, please do get in touch. You can call the SOBS Cumbria 24/7 helpline on 07572 975 721 (John) or 07896 703 757 (Karan). You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can visit us on Facebook and Twitter at @SOBSCumbria