A GIRLS’ school in York will hold a charity row-a-thon to raise funds for male mental health.

Pupils at The Mount Senior School plan to row the length of York’s River Ouse on Monday, July 3, and donate money to the George Toplis Foundation, which supports young people with autism and mental illness, providing long-term funding for their engagement in sport.

The event is inspired by head of physics Matt Cannon, who became the school’s informal advocate for male mental health awareness last year after an old rugby friend committed suicide. Matt gave a presentation to the senior school girls on research into the adverse effects on male mental health of ‘ladette’ culture, which discourages men from exploring and discussing their emotions.

He said: “Women tend to have a greater support network and are able to talk about and process their feelings with their friends. Actually, women have quite an important role to play in helping men with their mental health.”

The girls will row at least 84km on stationary rowing machines from 8am to 8pm in the school’s dining room, and will be joined by players from New Earswick Rugby Club.