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London Marathon 2018

On Sunday 22nd April, Tod Sullivan from The Lowestoft Mental Health Service User Forum is embarking on the challenge of participating in The London Marathon, all while fundraising for Access Community Trust.

You can read Tod’s motivational story below……

"I signed up to the marathon ballot assuming I wouldn’t get in, to give me a little motivation to get fit... then I got in! Which is like a 1 in 20 chance.

So I decided that if I was going to run the marathon, and I’m not designed / built for marathon running, I would raise money for a cause. I’ve been involved in mental health for some time as part of the Feedback charity, I’ve also worked in mental health for a few years as part of my day job.

My own experience of mental health, I’ve never had a diagnosis so don’t have lived experience of that, but was as the child of an alcoholic parent - about which I learnt a lot from NACOA the charity for the children of alcoholics - I learned certain coping strategies / personality traits that helped manage the situation but didn’t help me very much in life in general. This in part was a link to three times in my life when I attempted suicide, which in turn I think gave me a drive to be more involved in mental health (once I understood more about my own coping strategies etc).

All of this played a large part in me becoming the Mental Health Ambassador for Lowestoft as part of the collaboration academy (a joint piece of work across all of the public sector) as part of Lowestoft Rising.

So I wanted to raise money for mental health in Lowestoft / Waveney. The money I raise will be ring fenced for use to support people in the area who have an activity, event or occasion which will enable those with lived experience of mental health to be more able to participate in. It could be a new group or event intended to give opportunities to people, or access to an existing event being supported, or a new support group. The money will be given to the new Mental Health Council (a group of people who are expert by experience alongside people who are expert by practice or profession) to direct - so the money will be distributed to people who have lived experience by people with lived experience.

Training has gone fairly ok, I ran the Lowestoft half marathon in October 2017, had a nasty calf injury in December but generally I think I’ll survive!!"

If you’d like to support Tod in his challenge, and, help us to help others within the community, please donate via the link below.

https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/todjsullivan

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Our vision is to promote social inclusion for the community benefit by preventing people from becoming socially excluded, relieving the needs of those who are socially excluded and assisting them to integrate into society.