2016 was fucking special, and not in a good way. We’re saying sayonara by celebrating some of the not shit things that happened this year. For now, have a very merry time and we’ll see you on the other side!
1. Jamie Ramsay got through 17 pairs of trainers
In January, CALM’s very own Forrest Gump, Jamie ‘The Runner’ Ramsay, competed his mega 17,000km, 17-month run through the Americans with one final leg down The Mall in London, flanked by some friendly CALM supporters. (Image:Getty)
2. We felt the ’burn
In memory of top gent Jeshan Ahmed, a group of mates came together to create the sideburn-growing challenge, The Sides of March, which went on to raise £15,000. Bit weird for the face, brilliant for the CALM coffers.
3. CALM reached double figures
In April we celebrated ten years of CALM the only way we know how – with a banging birthday party. Thanks to Rowland Bennett and his merry band of helpers (too early for elves) we danced the night away to a wondrous line-up of DJs and live acts. Now bring on our tweenage years.
4. We nailed our curtseys and bows
Actually we didn’t. Instead, when chosen to be part of the royals’ Heads Together campaign in May, CALM kicked back on the sofa with the Duke of Cambridge to chat Pokémon, biscuits and society’s silent killer.
5. Taking selfies was useful (who knew?)
Thanks to rugby player and Andy’s Man Club founder Luke Ambler, thousands of OK sign selfies took over our social media feeds in August and September, sharing the all-important message that #ItsOkayToTalk. We’re not allowed to play favourites, but when Ricky Gervais shared his pic we did little a dance and sent a screenshot to our mum.
6. We kicked back to banging new tunes
CALM’s campaign Torch Songs is all about celebrating the power of music to lift us out of life’s low points, because to be honest we’ve all been there, haven’t we? Frank Turner, The Vaccines, Years & Years, Blaenavon and a whole host of other bands and artists joined forces to spread the word by recording their very own Torch Songs. And there’s more to come…
7. Wyatt Wendels fell off his bike…
…and then went on to complete 1,100 MILES IN SIX DAYS, kind of like a person whose judgment has been seriously impaired by too much saddle time. You don’t need to hear about the state of his arse cheeks, but you do need to know that hundreds of people were inspired by his epic Road to Rockstock, supported by the lovely folk at Planet Rock, which raised a whopping £74,733.36. Heroic!
8. We got our arses off the sofa
Heads Together was announced as the official charity for next year’s Virgin Money London Marathon, so a brave group of CALM supporters laced up their shiny new trainers, strapped on some grit, did a few star jumps and kicked off their marathon training with some help from our mate and coach Chevy Rough (by name, not nature).
9. CALM volunteers gave a fuck ton of their time
More than 3,000 hours to be exact. From shlepping around town delivering CALMzines to packing envelopes with beermats, from manning events and driving vans to making tea and braving the rain to hand out thousands of Mind the Chap wallets… just thinking about all the brilliant stuff these brilliant humans have done makes us feel a bit weepy. Oh no wait, that’s just the Love Actually playlist blasting in the office.
10. We prevented 430 suicides and counting
Earlier this month, UK suicide stats were published for 2015 showing men are still three times more likely than women to take their own lives. We’re working tirelessly to tackle this and, thanks to CALM’s phenomenal helpline workers who’ve taken 53,000 calls and web chats so far this year, we’ve been able to prevent 430 suicides since January (that’s 70% more than last year).
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