A man who ran five marathons in five days raising thousands for NHS mental health services is starting two new free courses this January to help people who want to improve their running or start running.
Ian Puttock, from Angmering, completed his amazing marathon challenge last summer raising more than £3,000 for Heads On, the official charity of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust where Ian works as Head of Digital Development.
The NHS Trust provides specialist mental health and learning disability services to adults and children across Sussex.
Ian will launch the two new lunchtime courses at Worthing Leisure Centre on Friday, January 25.
One course is for beginners, or people who would like to start running, and is called One Step at a Time.
Over 12 sessions people will be supported to run, slowly building up to a distance of up to 5k.
One Step at a Time will run from 12pm to 12.45pm at Worthing Leisure Centre, Shaftsbury Avenue, for 12 weeks beginning on Friday, January 25.
The other course, Every Step Counts, is for people who have experience of running and would like to improve their times or increase their distances from 5k to 10k or 10K to 10 miles.
Every Step Counts will run from 1pm to 1.45pm at Worthing Leisure Centre, Shaftsbury Avenue, for 12 weeks beginning on Friday, January 25.
Both courses are absolutely free to sign up to and are being hosted in conjunction with Sussex Recovery College and two peer trainers who also have lived experience of mental health illness. Sussex Recovery College offers educational courses about mental health and recovery which are designed to increase knowledge, skills and promote self-management of mental health challenges.
A father of four, Ian started running 10 years ago when his wife died suddenly.
Ian said: “Running has become a large part of my life and along with my family has helped me get through some very difficult times. Losing my wife 11 years ago turned my world upside down by suddenly finding myself with 4 children to bring up on my own. Fortunately I was lucky enough to meet someone else and it is with large thanks to my partner that she introduced me to the idea of going out a couple of times a week to run. This has definitely helped my own personal mental health.
“There is a link between running and improved mental health and the purpose of these two new courses is to help people who want to give running a go but maybe haven’t got a clue where to start, and those who do run but need or want some support to improve their running.
“Both of these courses are designed to provide people with the confidence to either start or continue their running in a safe and unintimidating environment.”
If you are interested in signing up, visit www.sussexrecoverycollege.org.uk to book your place.