St Albans man walking length of UK to raise money for mental health charity
- Credit: Archant
A St Albans man is embarking on a walk spanning the entire length of the country to raise money for and awareness of mental health issues.
Ben Garcia is walking from John O'Groats in Scotland to Land's End in Cornwall throughout May and August in aid of the Mental Health Foundation.
He is aiming to collect at least £2,000 for the charity, which is working to achieve the same progress for mental health as the medical profession has in physical health.
The 28-year-old said hiking is a safe place where he is able to reconnect with himself amid the stresses of life.
Ben said: "My goal throughout this journey is to raise awareness of mental health - showing that it is not something to avoid or ignore - to push myself mentally and physically, to explore the UK truly getting to know the people I meet along the way, and to raise money and donate to the Mental Health Foundation."
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Having been travelling and working as a chef for about a decade, and currently living in new Zealand, Ben also has experience as a hiking guide and would like to work in the outdoors in the future.
He said: "This has always been a deep passion of mine as I know how important it is for me to exercise the brain and the body to maintain my health.
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"Walking mindfully has helped me to overcome some of my own battles and create the life I love and I hope to spread this love of mine to the people I pass along the way."
The Mental Health Foundation run programmes, offer information, produce reports used by the government, influence policymakers, and advocate for change.
It says approximately 16 people take their own lives each day in the UK, and that by 2030 depression will be the leading cause of disease burden around the world. Find out more at www.mentalhealth.org.ukDonate to Ben's challenge, which takes place from May 12 to August 1, at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/BenGarcia.walksHe is also accepting donations for his bed and board along the hike to his PayPal on firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow his progress on Instagram @bengarcia.walks