Runners who will be joining you on the Start Line share their fundraising journey and three tips to help you hit your target before Event Day.
Fundraiser of the Week, Stephen, tells you how to keep advocating for someone when they no longer can.
Stephen is running the 2024 TCS London Marathon in memory of his brother Matt, who died by suicide at the age of 29. Matt battled with his mental health for the majority of his adult life and Stephen is running to support Mind and make mental health a priority.
Stephen has a very personal connection to Mind, as Matt would make donations to the charity. He also loved being active, from weight training to running, so it felt fitting to run in his brother's memory and show people that marathon running is for everyone. Stephen says: “Anyone can do this, you don’t have to be in the one per cent of super fit people.”
Matt created an environment where others could open up about their own mental health issues, something which Stephen wants to build on so the narrative around mental health continues to change. “I want to raise funds to support Mind’s lifesaving work. I don’t want anyone to experience what my brother did,” he says.
Stephen believes the changing approach to mental health is noticeable in the workplace: “It was harder to talk about mental health a few years ago than it is now, even having support like Mental Health First Aiders wasn’t there before,” he says.
Training for the marathon has become a mindful practice in itself for Stephen. “Running has given me a lot of time to process, which is a useful thing going forward I would take from this.”
Stephen also wants to say thank you for everything that Mind has done for him. “It can be a lot for family and friends supporting someone. It’s tough because usually you try to sympathise, but with mental health it’s difficult because it’s so personal. Mind’s website is fantastic, the amount of resources and support is amazing.”