A POPULAR Barrow fundraising event went down a storm at the weekend.

Nealy two thousand people headed down to Hawcoat Park Sports Club on Saturday for the third 'Kick Off 4' event to help tackle mental health stigma and to raise money for a leading mental health charity Mind in Furness.

Prolific fundraiser and event organiser Dan Webber said how well the event went and how important it was to help raise more awareness around mental health.

"It has been great to have the support of Mark Halsey, former Premier League Referee and Guy Beale, former Fourth Official", he said.

Both referred some of the games including the final against Hawcoat Park and Walney.

Mr Webber said: "The event isn't so much about raising money but about getting more and more people talking about mental health.

"This is our third year running the Kick Off 4 events and we had another great turn out of 1,800. I would like to thank everyone who showed their support on the day."

The football tournament took centre stage on the day. Hawcoat Park were eventually crowned champions after a close 1-0 victory over Walney in the final. There were also plenty of other events for people to get involved with.

There was lots of gourmet food stalls, live music and a 'Kidz Zone' as well as a play and craft area, yoga workshop and boxing workshop.

Mind-in-Furness chairman Michael Cassells said: "It is our ambition to open 24/7 next year as well as expanding our building and we are also keen to share our resources to benefit the wider community, with organisations such as the Birchall Trust and Love Barrow Families.

"There was a great turn out today with lots of support and an event on this scale is not just about raising money but about raising awareness to help tackle the stigma that surrounds mental health."

Councillor Iain Mooney, the newly appointed official spokesperson for Health and Wellbeing for Barrow Borough Council said: "I have come today to show my support as I too have been affected by mental health difficulties and it is great to see all these people supporting Mind.

Karen Dobson, chief officer at Mind in Furness, said: "Thanks to all but must add that some of our team today really pushed themselves out of their comfort zone to attend this and really enjoyed the challenge and being part of something.

"Fundraising is important to us as we're a charity, awareness raising is essential if we're going to challenge stigma but those personal challenges I've witnessed today - invaluable."