A group of ‘Bearded Villains’ are reuniting for an epic, mud-soaked challenge for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice as the popular Mud Madness event makes its long-awaited return.

Mud Madness will see participants clamber, scramble and slither through an array of muddy obstacles to raise much-needed funds for the South Yorkshire charity.

After last year's event was cancelled due to the pandemic, Bluebell Wood is expecting hundreds to take on the popular event at Hesley Wood Scout Camp in Chapeltown on November 13th.

One of the first groups to sign up were long-standing Bluebell Wood supporters, the Lake District chapter  of the Bearded Villains – a global community of hirsute men dedicated to charity and kindness. The chapter took on the charity's Colour Throw last year and ready to get messy and muddy this time around. As well as taking part, they will also be lending people power as volunteers on the day to make sure it all runs smoothly.

Dad-of-three Matt Doe, who joined the Bearded Villains in 2015 after winning a beard growing bet with his two brothers, said the 33-strong group can’t wait to get together in person.

“It’s been difficult to keep morale up and keep people motivated over the past year where we’ve been unable to be in a room together,” said Matt, from Oldham.

“So we thought the best thing to do was to get something booked in to get that motivation and give us all something to look forward to. 

“The Bearded Villains is, in normal times, about meeting up and having a laugh. But as part of that we’re always looking for ways to help others and it really helps bring us together.

“A few of the lads have either direct or indirect experience of Bluebell Wood and after we learned more about their life-changing work, we’ve been supporting them ever since.

“This year has been a bit of non-starter for us so far so we’re very much looking forward to getting together and raising as much as we can for Bluebell Wood.”

You can book tickets to Mud Madness and give yourself something to look forward to this winter here.

The charity is also on the lookout for volunteers to help with marshalling, bucket collections and setting up and taking down the course itself. Those interested in lending a hand simply need to email beth.cole@bluebellwood.org  who will be delighted to hear from any prospective volunteers.

This year’s Mud Madness will be the third outing for the popular event, which is organised by events company MLS with Bluebell Wood as the main charity partner.

Yuri Matischen from MLS said: “ We are delighted that Mud Madness will be returning this November. The team at MLS look forward to the event every year and we can’t wait to see as many people as possible take on the muddiest race in Sheffield.

“We’re proud to be supporting Bluebell Wood once again and we’re very much looking forward to raising much-needed funds for a fantastic local charity.”

Beth Cole, Events Coordinator at Bluebell Wood, said: “We’re delighted the Bearded Villains are taking on our Mud Madness event and we can’t thank them enough for offering to volunteer too.

“Our events are so important in raising funds to support our life-changing work, and it’s something we’ve sorely missed through the pandemic.

“So we’re over the moon to have our events calendar in full swing once again and we can’t wait to meet some of our amazing supporters in person.”