Thursday, 28 January 2021

Run challenge for mental health

Run challenge for mental health

A MAN is running 120km this month to raise awareness of a charity helping children and young people with their mental health.

Max Baker, 21, from Binfield Heath, began his challenge on December 1 and plans to complete 5km every day until Christmas Eve.

He is hoping to raise £500 for YoungMinds, which aims to empower young people and help them realise the importance of speaking up about mental health, while also offering them support and care.

Mr Baker, who lives with his parents Tracy and William, got into running earlier this year when the first lockdown happened.

He usually completes a loop of the village but ventures into Henley on Sundays and runs along the river. He has also been joined by friends on his daily runs.

“Prior to this year I didn’t do too much running,” he said. “I did a lot of sport and fitness in the gym,” he said.

Mr Baker graduated from the University of Exeter with a drama degree in the summer, although his final year was cut short and he was sent home in March to finish his studying.

He said: “With this year being quite difficult for many people and quite disruptive, my main thing was to spread a bit of happiness.

“The reason I chose YoungMinds was, being a young person myself, I can see how difficult it has been with the disruption.

“For many young people this year it has been a real struggle to stay positive and happy with yourself and to find structure.

“I went into this challenge with the intention of sharing a positive message that it’s okay to feel low and that you have almost wasted your time this year because everyone’s in the same position.

“It’s important to focus on yourself a little bit. I focus on myself with running and fitness, which helps create structure in my life.”

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