Men Up North, a charity promoting male mental health, has launched a pioneering alternative art initiative to fund a forest for mental wellness in the Peak District.
The charity aims to raise £250,000 to buy 10 acres of forest space in the Peak District National Park to host mental health retreats for men and train a team of wellbeing wardens.
Angga Kara, founder of Men Up North, comments: “There is an epidemic of male suicide in this country, but society tells people who are struggling to man up.
"Men are conditioned not to cry, not to show weakness, not to identify or share feelings. Men Up North is changing that.”
Instead of relying on donations to fund the purchase, the charity is seeking investment from alternative art buyers keen to put their cryptocurrency to good use.
It has created a digital art collection called Jamur.club featuring 66 three-dimensional scans of British forest fungi, and placed them for sale on the OpenSea NFT marketplace.
Angga added: “We’ve turned to new technology to fund our forest of mental wellness and we’re going back to nature to help men improve their wellbeing and mental resources.
"We chose mushrooms because they are popular online and have massive potential for boosting mental health.
“NFTs have already generated billions of pounds worth of sales.
"People buy them because they create a unique connection to the creator that does not exist with any other art form. They lend themselves well to social impact investing.”