Chris is minded to run
UKG retailer has £50,000 London Marathon target for mental health charity
RUNNING can help take your mind off things but retailer Chris Young is determined to use his efforts to make people think about mental health.
The long-time UK Greetings customer has two Londis stores in Rowlands Castle (pictured
) and Hambledon, Hampshire, and is on his way to the capital to take part in Sunday’s London Marathon.
Chris is determined to complete the 26.2-mile course to raise as much money as possible for the mental healthy charity Mind, with more than £9,600 pledged already towards his £50,000 target.
Having run his first marathon at the age of 18, with a second one more than 10 years ago, Chris is now in his early 50s and had given up on the idea of undertaking the challenge again but felt this cause was too important.
He said: “The reason I’m running the London Marathon this year is because, on October 13, 2016, my life was rocked like it had never been before – Miranda, my son Zach’s girlfriend, sadly and totally unexpectedly took her own life.
“Miranda was an amazing young lady and had everything to look forward to. She was young, beautiful, intelligent, had a loving family and a devoted boyfriend. She should have been off to Bristol University to have the time of her life.”
However, Chris explained, Miranda suffered from depression and anxiety and, once her access to counselling sessions finished, she found life too difficult and died at the age of just 19.
He added: “There is very limited help from the NHS and universities and these kids – and they are kids – are on their own, left to cope and take the largest step in life to university by themselves.
“People with mental health issues need immediate, accessible help 24/7 which does come at a cost. A counselling session from a charity costs £30. If I could raise £50,000 we could offer well over 1,600 sessions – that really would make a difference, possibly a life-saving difference.”
Mental health awareness is particularly strong at this year’s event with Princes William and Harry speaking about their own struggles in the wake of their mother Princess Diana’s death 20 years ago.
And the royals helped put the spotlight on the subject by assisting with BBC 1’s Mind Over Marathon programme, shown last night (Thursday, April 20) where 10 people with mental health issues have been challenged to complete the course so will also be running on Sunday.
If you’d like to find out more about Chris’ story and make a donation to help Mind, please go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/chrisyounglondonmarathon2017