A Barnstaple man who lost his son to suicide will be taking on a challenge with a twist later this month to raise money for a mental health charity.

Paul Stevens will be carrying a 20lb cannon barrel up Snowdon on Saturday, May 25, to highlight the heavy weight of mental health, and is calling on people and businesses for support.

The 52-year-old will be joined by more than 40 others on the walk, including mental health workers and professionals from the emergency services and Royal Wessex Yeomanry.

They will be raising money for Clarity, a charity which offers therapeutic counselling, group support and group therapy to those experiencing mental health or emotional issues. It is funded by grants and donations and run by volunteers.

Paul, who was himself left on the verge of a breakdown following the suicide of his son Daniel in August 2012, is determined to put money back into mental health services, which he says are 'bottom of the ladder' when it comes to funding.

He said: " Obviously I lost my lad in 2012 and actually tried myself when I was 14, so mental health is something I've always been aware of. It's in everyone's faces now and every one is talking about it, but the money isn't going into it.

Daniel Stevens, who took his own life in August 2012. Picture: ContributedDaniel Stevens, who took his own life in August 2012. Picture: Contributed

"Mental health is bottom of the ladder, and it's hard work trying to get backing and getting money in.

"I wanted to do something. The barrel belonged to a friend who died a year ago. His family gave me the cannon barrel and I thought I would carry it up Snowdon.

"The people coming have all been affected by it or deal with it. There are people going who have lost people and others who might be struggling themselves."

With an estimated 12.5 million days lost in the workplace each year due to mental health issues, Paul is calling on people and businesses to support the challenge by sponsoring his group of walkers.

"If we could raise £2-3,000 that would be brilliant, and more would be even better," he said.

To donate to Paul's challenge, visit his BT MyDonate page.