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Read more about why we support these charities.
Friends of serenity
In 2019 my wife Emma and I got the best news, she was pregnant with our little baby who we named Wallace. Excitement was building and we went for a scan at 14 weeks. Everything was perfect and follow up appointments were made with the midwife and consultant for the following weeks. However, shortly after we had another scan which showed our baby had no heartbeat. Friends of serenity were amazing helping us come to terms with what had happened, supporting us through the next steps and beyond. In 2000, deep in lockdown we sadly suffered another miscarriage, with no friends or family able to see us face to face and Emma’s family being miles away it was a difficult time, but once again friends of serenity were amazing.
Mind Over Mountains
This is the charity I have thought about setting up, albeit on a much smaller scale. But the work they do and approach to managing mental health is fantastic.
After my Dad got diagnosed with cancer I searched for a challenge to help raise money for the Macmillan Nurses who had supported him and the family enormously but also to help take my mind off his suffering and also give me a purpose. Suddenly life was a lot shorter…
I signed up to climb Kilimanjaro, a huge challenge for an unfit slightly overweight 25 year old. Getting out into the hills and countryside not only helped from a training perspective but to also focus my thoughts.
After my best friend Matt died from an undiagnosed heart condition the outdoors and cycling and walking really did save my life. I was prescribed anti-depressants but only took them for a short time as time outdoors offered much more to me than pills could. This was the same in 2019 and 2020 when we suffered two miscarriage’s.
I have wanted to try and encourage people struggling to get out walking or cycling with me, but lack the resources and confidence to do this and when I saw Mind Over Mountains and saw they had achieved what I had always wanted to do, so decided to support them with this challenge. The 3 peaks pub crawl came about as a way for me to focus and get through lockdown and having a miscarriage during this, cycling and walking really kept me from going under the last 18 months so it made perfect sense to support them.
So what do Mind Over Mountains do…their website says:
We are a mental health charity offering immediate and accessible support through therapeutic outdoor experiences.
We deliver events throughout the UK, with bursaries available to those with the most challenging lives. Ranging from one day to weekend retreats, our programmes bring together professionally guided hill-walking, mindfulness and time in the company of experienced coaches and counsellors.
We believe this time in nature, coupled with professional support is a powerful way to build resilience, talk without pressure and re-find stillness.
Cardiac Risk in the Young
On the 24th May 2008 I found out what sudden adult death syndrome (SADs) was. I had gone to London with my best friend Matt for another friend Jon’s wedding. We had got the train down and met up with some friends for a drink or two and bit of food before making our way to our hotel.
We checked in and got sorted. As the groom was busy with wedding prep we decided to relax in our room. Nothing seemed unusual and we got a text from Jon the groom to say he was free and did we want to pop round. He was only five minutes from our hotel. We had a couple of drinks and played Mario Kart before heading back to the hotel, with through’s of the wedding and free bar the next day!
We never made it to the wedding though, when I woke the next morning Matt was slumped out of his bed.
I tried to wake him and then ran to reception asking for an ambulance. But deep down I knew it was too late.
I went back to the room and placed him on the bed and made him comfortable. When the ambulance arrived, it was short and not to sweet. He was gone. I was in shock, what do I say to Jon and Pam, what about his Mum and Dad? I had over an hour of police questions, though the policeman was so supportive and nice.
The cause of death was given as sudden arrhythmia death syndrome or SADs, which is similar to cot death in babies. No symptoms and no logic are behind it. CRY were so supportive, especially for Matt’s family, giving some reason to what had happened and screening his sister Becky to make sure she had no heart defects.
CRYs vision is to prevent young sudden cardiac deaths through awareness, screening and research, and supporting affected families.