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Huntly duo clocking up the miles to raise profile and cash for mental health support locally


By Pat Scott

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A HUNTLY charity which works to promote good mental health is in line for a cash boost from two local runners.

Jeremy Young (31) completed a four mile run every four hours for 48 hours and Ben Myers (39) is clocking up the kilometres towards 100k and staying 'dry' during March - both raising money for Networks of Wellbeing, NoW.

Their aim is to raise awareness of poor mental health - and the help available locally.

Mr Young, a mechanic, recently re-trained as a life coach. He had never tackled anything as ambitious as the 48 mile run and found it really difficult.

Jeremy Young pounding out the miles in his 48 hour challenge.
Jeremy Young pounding out the miles in his 48 hour challenge.

Mr Myers, a spray painter, has to balance work and a seven month old baby with his run and tee-total challenge and admitted he found running easier than giving up beer - but he's determined to stick with it in memory of his friend, Nicola Chapman who took her own life last year, aged 26.

He's buoyed up by the level of support - having set a modest £500 target he is thrilled to have raised over £2200 and the total is rising.

Mr Myers said: "I wanted to do something hard and running and giving up drink are both hard for me. But for a lot of people trying to be positive and have good mental health is hard.

"I dread going out running, my partner Marie plans them and some of my pals have joined me. I feel better afterwards and definitely benefit from not drinking. I put on weight in lockdown so have lost some of that.

Ben Myers, centre, with running buddies, Daniel Carter, right, and Shaun Nicol.
Ben Myers, centre, with running buddies, Daniel Carter, right, and Shaun Nicol.

"Losing Nicola was heartbreaking and that loss is something that will live with me for the rest of my life."

Mr Young said: "I don't run often and had never done anything so ambitious. It was really difficult not managing to sleep between runs - by the time I showered and had some food there was only half an hour until it was time to go again.

"But it was worth it - I know people who struggle with their mental health - people need to know it's okay to reach out for help if they are struggling. Lockdown is bringing people down, they are isolated and if they have poor mental health anyway it's not getting any better.

"I don't think there's enough awareness of NoW - they have a really important role to play with one to one sessions, where people can talk through their feelings, and mindfulness. We are lucky to have NoW in Huntly and as well as raising money for them I want people to know they are there to help."

Miss Chapman's family are overwhelmed by Mr Myers's challenge and her mum, Linda said: “What Ben is doing is great and we hope that it helps others that are struggling.”

Ben Myers has been kept on track during his run by nephew Lukas Borzoni, 12.
Ben Myers has been kept on track during his run by nephew Lukas Borzoni, 12.

Fi Thomson, community development officer at NoW described the two men's running efforts as "really brilliant."

She said: "We have people we have not seen before coming all the time for help either for themselves or because they see a friend or family member struggling with their mental health and don't know who to turn to for help.

"Ben and Jeremy's friend's death made people aware that poor mental health affects people of all ages. Mental health problems are only going to get worse and NoW are grateful of the fundraising."

Jeremy has raised £650 so far - to donate go to www.justgiving.com/younghealth.

To support Ben, go to the Just Giving website and search Ben Myers Run 100k.

NoW can be reached on 01466 793732, via Facebook or e mail to fi@networksofwellbeing.org


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