As awareness of mental health increases in the UK, so does our knowledge of the problems people face. Recent NHS reports show that 1 in 4 adults suffer from mental health problems. Unfortunately, suicide rates have increased in the UK and there is a significant lack of funding to help those who are suffering.
Matt knew these facts and many more. So in December 2018, he decided to set himself a challenge. He is currently running 10km every day to raise money for the charity Mind.
Mind is a charity dedicated to helping people who are suffering from mental health problems. They provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Their motto is strong and they won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental problem gets support and respect and Matt is there to help them.
Matt’s decision was bold but an easy one “I wanted to do something that makes me feel uncomfortable and stressed for 1 hour a day every day for a year, to highlight the unnoticed stresses that people suffering from mental health are going through on a daily basis. I can hopefully help people to think differently about friends, family or colleagues who seem stressed, depressed or anxious. Just ask how they are. Sometimes that’s all the help people need.”
Starting on the 1st of January, Matt had previously never run a full 10km. Although fit from regularly playing Rugby, he knew it would be a challenge. By day 3 Matt was in pain, his feet were a wreck and he realised running for 10km a day whilst working and training might be more difficult than he’d anticipated. However, Matt pushed on and kept at his challenge.
Matt is our Maker Sales Manager and often spends multiple nights away from home, travelling the length and breadth of the UK and Europe. Making the most of new scenery, Matt continued to dedicate his mornings to running; from beaches in Devon to historic streets in Nuremberg. Devoted to his charitable cause, Matt runs every day at 5 am before meetings, trade shows and conferences that have covered over 5 countries.
The journey hasn’t been easy and the team have only admiration for Matt who continued to ride, walk and run whilst swelling went down in his ankle after a serious injury. This is the point where most people would admit defeat but Matt continued his 10km a day. This year Matt has also found alternative ways to complete his daily 10km following not one, but two operations!
Matt has taken the challenge in his stride, “it’s a great excuse to eat an extra 1000 calories a day!”. With only a few weeks left of the challenge, we want to promote Matt’s current success of reaching £640 out of his £1000 target and help him reach his end goal.
On New Year’s Eve, Matt is running to his favourite pub, where he has joked he will burn his running shoes. However, his determination to help those struggling won’t end in 2019. He has some ideas for next year, including 7 marathons in 7 days and travelling across the Scottish Highlands, carrying 10 days worth of food and equipment! For Matt “it doesn’t really grab attention unless you go and do something either idiotic, ridiculous or both!”.
The Rakem Group are extremely proud of Matt’s achievement and we will continue to support Matt as he enters the final month of the challenge. We hope that our friends, suppliers and customers can also support Matt in his final kilometres.
For more information on Matt’s journey and to donate to Matt’s 10km a day challenge, please visit his JustGiving page.