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Suffolk Mind launch competition in memory of former trustee encouraging teenagers to write about mental health

PUBLISHED: 16:05 06 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:05 06 December 2017

David Cocks, a former Suffolk Mind trustee who died last year aged 71. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

David Cocks, a former Suffolk Mind trustee who died last year aged 71. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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A Suffolk charity is launching a competition inviting teenagers to write about mental health in memory of a well-known trustee and radio pioneer.

Ezra Hewing, head of mental health education at Suffolk Mind. Picture: GREGG BROWN Ezra Hewing, head of mental health education at Suffolk Mind. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Set up to remember former EADT employee and Radio Orwell director David Cocks, Suffolk Mind is encouraging young people aged 16 to 18 to pen 500 word stories or poems for their chance to win a trophy.

Entries to the competition – launched to recognise Mr Cocks’ contribution to the charity during the 14 years he spent as a trustee on the Suffolk Mind and East Suffolk Mind boards – can be about sleep, and the emotional need for privacy.

The community stalwart, who started his career at the East Anglian Daily Times, was a founder of the Suffolk Radio Group (SRG) and spent several years as executive chairman of Anglian Radio. He died last year at the age of 71.

Head of mental health education for the charity, Ezra Hewing, said: “Getting the right amount and quality of sleep is important for good mental health, and sleep is always the first thing to be affected when we experience stress.

David Cocks was one of the founders of the Suffolk Radio Group. Picture: CONTRIBUTED David Cocks was one of the founders of the Suffolk Radio Group. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

“The more stressed we become, the more REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep we have as the brain tries to calm us down through dreaming.

“Too much REM sleep means we have less deep recuperative sleep which is needed to repair the body.”

He added: “As a result, we often wake up feeling more tired than before we went to bed.

“Having time and space to relax and daydream, and to develop our own points of view and life goals is important for good mental health too, and we can only do this if we have privacy and time to ourselves.”

Competition winners and runners up will be presented with trophies at an awards ceremony taking place at Quay Place on March 1, 2018.

Another large trophy will be engraved with the winner’s name each year and put on display at the centre.

The deadline for competition entries is Friday, February 2.

Stories and poems must be within the 500 word limit, and bosses say entries submitted after the closing date will not be considered.

For more information and to read the full set of competition rules, visit the Suffolk Mind website.

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