Chester-le-Street gym to raise mental health awareness after losing loved member to suicide

Written by on 13th March 2023

Chester-le-Street-based gym 2B-Fit are organising a mammoth fitness challenge in May to raise mental health awareness after they lost a much-loved member to suicide on what will be their 10th birthday.

Gym owner Stephen Brewis (right) with personal trainer Craig Manning (left) – Credit: Adam Tones

The event will celebrate the life of Michelle Bainbridge, who sadly took her own life in May 2021 with funds being donated to If U Care Share, a local mental health charity which supports bereaved families.

Former University of Sunderland graduate and gym owner Stephen Brewis along with personal trainer Craig Manning want as many people as possible to get involved and help spread an important message.

Brewis said: “This event shows the close-knit community we have at the gym; people will come down and support us and we have people who are planning to stay the full 24 hours.

“A lot of our members who have been here for a long time know Michelle and Dave (Michelle’s husband) personally and it’s going to be an emotional time for them, but it’s something we are all very keen to get involved in.”

Brewis has set up a fundraising page with all proceeds going to If U Care Share, he hopes the event will send out a vital message.

“The name says it all, If U Care Share, don’t be afraid to speak out. We want to do our bit and raise as much awareness as possible and let people know if they are struggling there are people to talk to,” the CrossFit coach explained.

Mr Manning is a friend of the Bainbridge family and hopes the charity day will allow participants to come together and support each other.

Manning added: “Dave is still a member here and his wife was a big player at the gym. I used to personally train her, so it means a lot to us, when Michelle took her own life, it shocked everybody.”

2B-Fit’s gym – Stella Gill industrial estate, Chester-Le-Street. Credit: Adam Tones

The mega 10 million metre target will take place at 2B-Fit’s functional fitness gym in Stella Gill industrial estate, Chester-le-Street on May 26, with the event kicking off at 6pm and continuing throughout the night.

The pair plan to bring a party atmosphere, with a DJ, BBQ, drinks, and a midnight movie projector all set to feature across the 24 hours.

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