Best Practice

Mental health: A rowing revolution

In a three-part series, Phil Denton considers the merits of a number of initiatives set-up to improve the mental health of our young people. In part one, he introduces the work of Ben Dunne, both via the River Reeves Foundation and Warrington Youth Rowing

When the Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave lost his son, he talked about renegotiating his place in the world. Ben Dunne, one of the driving forces behind a quiet music and rowing revolution to aid mental health support for young people, speaks of a similar realisation following the loss of his son in February 2016.

Ben’s son, Rivers Reeves, was a member of up and coming band Viola Beach. The group, along with their manager, lost their lives following a car accident while they toured Sweden.

Ben describes the years following River’s death as a time when he and his wife Sharon, as parents, had to redefine what their purpose was in the world: “Returning to the life we knew and took for granted was never going to be an option.”

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