Birmingham charity marches ahead with no smoking drive

A Birmingham charity which supports vulnerable people across the region is getting right behind Stoptober, the 28-day challenge to quit smoking in October, by encouraging its staff and customers to kick the habit.

Staff from Trident Reach the People Charity planned a march into Birmingham city centre on Monday 1st October to collect their no smoking packs from the Boots NHS walk-in centre.

The charity is also encouraging its staff not to smoke on the charity’s grounds during Stoptober, which is a nationwide NHS initiative offering free support to smokers wanting to quit throughout October.
Trident Reach, which assists vulnerable groups, including those with learning disabilities, young people at risk, the elderly, people fleeing domestic violence, teenage parents, young offenders, the homeless and refugees, is also hoping many of its customers will take part in the Stopober challenge.

Fred Duncan, manager of Trident Reach’s service for homeless people in Washington Court, Birmingham, is one of the smokers behind the charity’s initiative. He decided it was time to quit after he started coughing badly when he was outside smoking.

Fred, who has been smoking up to 10 cigarettes a day for the past 18 years, said: “I thought I can’t continue like this. I was talking to a fellow smoker and we decided to quit as well as encourage other staff and our customers to stop”.

The idea snowballed from there and now Trident Reach is hoping dozens of staff and customers will join Fred and his colleagues on their mass walk into the city centre on Monday 1st October.

Anthony McCool, Charity Lead at Trident Reach, said: “In the spirit of real comradeship with Fred and every member of staff who is stopping smoking, we have made the decision that we will strongly discourage smoking on any grounds belonging to Trident Reach during October. This is a real time now for a healthy living approach to life.”

Fred, who estimates he has spent £5,000 a year on cigarettes, also has a personal goal to help him complete the Stoptober 28-day challenge. He plans to take his family to Disneyland with the money he will save.

For more information about Trident Reach’s work and how to get involved, contact 0121 226 5800.

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