Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

John Smith 350Walking the South Downs Way for charity

A Hastings man is walking the South Downs Way this May to raise money for a local mental health charity, Heads On. Claire Harris of the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust explains why.

John Smith, from Hastings, is aiming to complete the 100-mile trek from Winchester to Eastbourne over four days, starting on Thursday 2 May.

He is hoping to raise £1,000 for Heads On, the official charity of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides specialist mental health and learning disability services across the South East.

John will be completely self-sufficient during his challenge, carrying everything he needs on his back. But on days three and four he will be joined by his mum, Lorraine Smith, and her friend, Mandy Rowse, who will be realising their own ambitions to walk the whole 100 miles, having previously covered the first 50 miles.

“I’m fundraising for Heads On because I want to give something back and support other people experiencing mental health difficulties,” John explains. “I’ve always wanted to walk the full South Downs Way – I’ve done parts of it before but never the whole thing – and it will be a very challenging, but hugely rewarding, walk for a great cause.

“Last year I went through a difficult time with my mental health. I was in an extremely dark place, even with my family supporting me, but thanks to the help I received from Sussex Partnership’s crisis resolution home treatment team I was able to work through, and learn how to cope with, my mental health issues, and see that my life mattered.

“I hope that by taking on this challenge I can raise awareness and show anyone living with mental health problems at the moment that, by getting help, they can get through this difficult time. Positive things can happen when you ask for help.”


Sponsor John and help him reach his £1,000 target.

More information about the services provided by Sussex Partnership.

More information about Heads On.


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Posted 15:04 Wednesday, Apr 24, 2019 In: Health Matters

Also in: Health Matters

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