This time last year, over 20 ambitious fundraisers trekked the Welsh 3000s for Mind, the mental health charity. Captained by TV Presenter, Matt Johnson, and with actor Nicholas Pinnock (most recently in ITV drama, Marcella), 28-year-old support worker Ceri Parker took on the 24 hour endurance challenge, and shares his story…
Why did you sign up to the challenge, Ceri?
I signed up to the challenge in memory of my cousin, who committed suicide in 2014. The anniversary was the week after the challenge, so it felt poignant.
Who did you raise money for?
I raised money for MIND because I wanted to save lives of people who felt there was no future due to their mental health, like my cousin felt.
Had you ever taken part in a challenge event like this before?
I’ve done a few 10k runs, and am generally fit, but nothing as big as the 3000s challenge! It’s definitely the biggest physical challenge I have ever undertaken.
How did you go about training for the event?
I joined a local walking group and did some long walks once a week, and continued to play sports on the weekend. Plus lots of gym sessions to get my legs used to those mountains!
How did you fundraise for the challenge?
I created a page on Facebook and encouraged all of my friends and family to like it. I would post updates about my training, and upcoming fundraising events. I also used it to give facts about mental health in men, and linked to articles in newspapers. I did some face-to-face collections at work, and the local football club – everyone was so generous with their donations.
What was your biggest highlight during the challenge?
I think the biggest highlight had to be finishing the trek after 24 hours, with a group of AMAZING people who all had smiles on their faces! Plus, raising over £70,000 for MIND was also a rather special highlight.
What advice would you give anyone who was thinking of taking on a similar challenge for charity?
The best advice I could give would just be: GO FOR IT! No challenge is too daunting, Charity Challenge were brilliant throughout so you’re in safe hands. And don’t forget to enjoy it – you’ve earned it!
Where is your dream challenge destination, and why?
I would love to do a cycling challenge next. Maybe across Europe or around the UK. Tour De France is an inspiring event where millions of people line the streets and cheer on the cyclists. Maybe taking part in a London to Paris event and finishing along the Champs Elysees would be pretty special…
If you are interested in following in Ceri’s footsteps and would like to take part in a challenge for Mind, there are still places left on their Kilimanjaro Summit Climb (7-18th October 2016). Visit the event page to find out more…