On 4 August 2018, a group of West Cumbrian men forming the team Kapow & Co. are coming together to undergo Total Warrior, one of the toughest and most challenging obstacle races in the UK, in memory of their friend Keith Powe, whom they lost by suicide in August last year.
Battling Total Warrior
The Total Warrior event is described as the ‘pinnacle of obstacle racing’, including 25 punishing obstacles for the team to endure in the muddy rugged terrain of the Lake District.
The group of friends – made up of Tom Crosby, Steven Benson, Jonny Rothery, Alex Crosby, Darran Monkhouse and Jamie Carson – are all from Whitehaven originally, and grew up together with Keith. Currently they are dotted at various points across the UK, but are uniting in Keith’s memory to battle through the immense challenge, raising funds and awareness for Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) Cumbria. Keith despised exercise before he took his own life, so the group of men have decided to come together to partake in a gruelling event acting as a poignant remembrance of their friend.
Each year, more than 6,000 people take their own lives across the UK: SOBS is a national charity that 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. SOBS Cumbria also has a local 24/7 helpline and a closed Facebook group.
When speaking to Keith’s father, Trevor Powe, he praised the group’s passion and enthusiasm. After losing his son, he remarked on the strong support network made up of family members and friends. However, he recognised that not all who are bereaved by suicide have access to such strong support. Through choosing to fundraising for SOBS Cumbria, they are hoping the charity can offer more help and support to others who have been left behind by a loved one.
Support the group
The group of friends have been a fantastic support network for Keith’s immediate family, completely organising the funeral, as well supporting each other in their own loss. The team name Kapow is derived from Keith’s name, and the group plan to wear t-shirts with superheroes on in Keith’s favourite colour, purple, to pay tribute to their friend.
The event will take place in August 2018 at Shap Abbey in the Lake District - the home of Total Warrior since its inception in 2011. You can find out more about what the challenge involves on the Total Warrior website.
Keith’s friends had a fundraising target of £500, but already smashed this within the first 24 hours. They are continuing to fundraise for SOBS Cumbria to support others through the most painful time, having already raised over £1,500. If you’d like to support the groups fundraising campaign in honour of their friend Keith, visit their Just Giving page.
Support for those bereaved 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.