Local man to walk 100 miles for mental health

A Hastings man is walking the South Downs Way this May to raise money for our official charity, Heads On.

John Smith, from Hastings, is aiming to complete the 100 mile trek from Winchester to Eastbourne over four days, starting on Thursday 2 May.

He is hoping to raise £1,000 for Heads On, the official charity of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides specialist mental health and learning disability services across the south east.

John will be completely self-sufficient during his challenge and will carry everything he needs on his back. But on days three and four he will be joined by his mum, Lorraine Smith, and her friend, Mandy Rowse, who will be realising their own ambitions to walk the whole 100 miles as they have previously covered the first 50 miles.

Explains John: “I’m fundraising for Heads On because I want to give something back and support other people experiencing mental health difficulties. I’ve always wanted to walk the full South Downs Way – I’ve done parts of it before but never the whole thing – and it will be a very challenging, but hugely rewarding, walk for a great cause. 

“Last year I went through a difficult time with my mental health. I was in an extremely dark place, even with my family supporting me, but thanks to the help I received from Sussex Partnership’s crisis resolution home treatment team I was able to work through, and learn how to cope with, my mental health issues and see that my life mattered. 

“I hope that by taking on this challenge I can raise awareness and show anyone living with mental health problems at the moment that, by getting help, they can get through this difficult time. Positive things can happen when you ask for help.”

You can sponsor John, adn help him reach his £1,000 target, through his Just Giving page

To find out more and get involved with Heads On, visit www.headsoncharity.org