'Once I opened up about my mental health everything became easier'

Charlie Ferris and Harvey Pike

Charlie Ferris, left, and Harvey Pike, right, have started a running club as a form of mental health support during lockdown. - Credit: Harvey Pike

Two friends from Nailsea and Yatton have started a running club, aiming to improve people's mental health during the third national lockdown.

Charlie Ferris, aged 22 and 23-year-old, Harvey Pike started the club after overcoming their own mental health struggles since the turn of the year.

MIND CARE CHALLENGE

Charlie and Harvey hope to raise £1000 for the mental health charity, MIND. - Credit: Charlie Ferris

Charlie admitted that his job as a gas engineer, which saw him work inside a hospital during the coronavirus pandemic, opened his eyes to how the virus was affecting people - prompting him to organise a fundraiser for the mental health charity, Mind.

He said: "We both suffered massively with our mental health and realised others must be feeling the same way.

"We organised the Mind C.A.R.E challenge with a target of £1,000 and people can run or walk 30, 50, 100 or 200km within 30 days of signing up.

"Once I opened up about my mental health, everything became easier so, hopefully, all our members feel like they can as well."

A person running on a road

Anyone can sign up for the running challenge, with a range of distances to complete. - Credit: Pixabay

Anyone can join up to take part in via the link on the @mindcare_challenge Instagram page and download the Strava running app to track your running time and distance.

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Charlie added: "We can arrange to include members in our group chat - it is a safe place where they can discuss their mental health with likeminded people and plenty of people have told us how important it has been to them."

Charlie's friend, and personal trainer, Harvey helped set up an Instagram page and WhatsApp group for all potential members of the club - with more than 60 signing up within the challenges first week.

He said: "I have heard loads of stories and we have built our own community.

"A lot of people have said how this third lockdown seems to be a bigger challenge and, personally, I believe exercise is the most powerful way to transform your mindset.

"The first step is the hardest but it beats being stuck in a room with your thoughts - there are others going through the same thing and they are a part of the challenge and in the Whatsapp group chat to help each other."

Sign up to the 30-day challenge by following this link www.tinyurl.com/yy39razx

Donations can be made to the club's fundraiser by logging on to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/charlie-ferris2

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