Duo get tough and muddy for mental health

Mucky fund-raisers from Wigan take part in the Tough Mudder race to raise money and awareness for Mind
Mucky fund-raisers from Wigan take part in the Tough Mudder race to raise money and awareness for Mind

A fund-raising duo, who have both been through some of the darkest times imaginable, have completed a gruelling charity challenge for mental health awareness.

Kieran Jones and Suzanne Cleworth and their intrepid pals took part in the North West Tough Mudder last weekend, raising cash for mental health charity Mind in the process.

They were joined by around 50 friends and family members who also took on the arduous obstacle course race.

Both Kieran and Suzanne had personal reasons for taking on the gruelling obstacle course.

Kieran, from Bamfurlong, currently uses fitness and running to help him battle depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which he has struggled with for several years.

Leigh resident Suzanne, meanwhile, wanted to help Mind in memory of her husband Stephen, a popular local rugby league player who took his own life last year. He was 44 years old.

Kieran, 39, who runs his own mental health support page on Facebook, said: “I’ve had a lot going on and a couple of months ago I hit rock bottom.

“I tried the NHS and was put on a waiting list, which I don’t blame them for because there’s a lack of funding, and I contacted Mind too.

“I signed up for Tough Mudder thinking of the idea that a healthy body is a healthy mind.

“I was 18 stone at one point because I basically didn’t leave my house for two years with the PTSD, but now I’ve started running and training, I’ve lost weight and I’ve started dieting too.”

On the race, he said: “It went alright.

“It was a bit hectic, but it was a success and we’ve raised thousands.

“It was really challenging. This was my seventh Tough Mudder, but it was the first for many.

“Some said they wouldn’t do it again but others would!”

Kieran and Suzanne have already spent a lot of this year pulling out all the stops to support Mind.

In July, they announced that comedian Roy Chubby Brown had agreed to perform a benefit gig in November at The Village on The Green in Aspull.

Suzanne also organised a ladies’ night at the Waterside Inn in Leigh to raise more vital funds.

Mind has 130 locations across England and Wales, and supports more than 425,000 people.

The charity was founded in 1946 and boasts Stephen Fry as its President.

It offers information and advice to people with mental health problems, and campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of mental illness.

Find out more about their work at mind.org.uk

You can find out more about Kieran’s mental health campaigns by searching for “Kieran Jones mental health campaigner” on Facebook.