AN ex-contestant on a reality TV programme has set up a charity for bereaved men.

Efrem Brynin, from Pulborough took part in the second series of SAS Who Dares Wins in 2016.

The 47-year-old has co-founded StrongMen with Daniel Cross, another contestant on the Channel 4 show, in which 30 men are put through the SAS selection process in a test of physical and psychological strength.

Both Efrem and Daniel have suffered bereavements and the pair decided to set up an organisation to support men going through the pain of losing someone.

Efrem said: “My son James was killed in Afghanistan in 2013 and Dan lost his wife – she was murdered in 2015.

“We wanted to set up a charity which would be supportive in ways that are in line with how we handled bereavement, as we both used exercise to cope.”

StrongMen organises weekend retreats for bereaved men to do outdoor activities as well as the opportunity to talk to others who are suffering with grief.

Efrem said: “We take a group of guys to an area like Snowdonia and we climb a mountain or do some zipwiring and it allows people to open up.

“There’s nothing out there quite like it.

“What we do is provide these trips for free and we link it up with the physical side.

“When the guys are walking up a mountain they are much more inclined to talk about things, rather than sitting in a circle eye-balling each other.

“It has a hugely positive effect on people.

“The feedback has been astounding.”

Efrem said the charity has four retreats scheduled this year so far and he has 750 people on the waiting list.

He said: “Some have lost parents a long time ago and others have lost children very recently.

“We have people coming on the retreats from the age of 16 to 60.

“No one is more deserving.

“Each retreat costs around £500 per person, so it’s not an insignificant amount of money we need to raise.

“The sky’s the limit.”

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