Liverpool charity hero rowing solo across the Atlantic - Bernie Hollywood shares his story

Bernie Hollywood will row for up to 90 days alone at sea as he makes the 3,000-mile journey.

Bernie Hollywood, who will row solo across the Atlantic in aid of children's mental health later this year, has been sharing his story by bringing his Boat of Hope to Liverpool ONE.

The 63-year-old charity guru will take on the 3,000-mile challenge in December, rowing solo for 18 hours a day for up to 90 days alone at sea.

Bernie Hollywood - 63-year-old charity guru

He will journey from the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean - as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge - in a boat which measures just seven metres long.

Bernie was given special permission from Liverpool Council and its three Mayors to have the boat named ‘City of Liverpool’ in honour of his late father and grandfather, who spent their working lives within the Port of Liverpool.

The boat is emblazoned with a 42ft ‘Hope’ mural by the renowned artist Justin Eagleton, which was inspired by the children Bernie is aiming to help.

‘Children told us what hope meant to them’

Bernie Hollywood said: "When we started the campaign 18 months ago, we wanted to reach out to young people to ask them what hope meant to them, and that's how all of this artwork is actually on the boat. The content came from over 6,500 high schools from around the United Kingdom. Those young children told us what hope meant to them."

"There is going to be times when it's going to get stormy, and the boat is built like a lifeboat, so it‘ll capsize, which it will, from time to time because you'll get waves from 30 to 90ft high."

"The thing that spurs me on is the cause of what we're doing it for. We want to actually try and speak to as many young people as we possibly can about how you feel inside your head. The statistics are dreadful 50% of all mental health issues begin before the age of 14."

Donna Howitt, Place Strategy Director at Liverpool ONE, said: "This is all about putting the spotlight on mental health with a particular focus on young people dealing with anxiety and building resilience. What a fantastic inspiration Bernie will be in terms of building resilience with the journey he's going on."