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Our trust supports Tony Russell's epic walk for mental health

05/04/2011

In May 1986, football fan Tony Russell embarked on an epic 2,355 walk around every professional football club in England and Wales to raise money for cancer research.

Now, 25 years later, the 56-year-old from Barnsley in Yorkshire, is visiting mental health organisations all over England to raise money for Breakthrough Art, a user-led arts in mental health organisation, and Combat Stress which supports ex-service personnel with conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder.

The walk started in Beckenham, Kent, on March 22 and along the way he will talk to politicians, celebrities and senior health officials including our chief executive Sue Turner, who has joined him on the What’s It All About? walk when it reached Birmingham on April 3 and 4.

Sue joined Tony for a 10 mile stretch (in the rain!) from Earleswood Lakes through to Moseley on Sunday (April 3).

Tony and Sue were joined by Sophia Christie from the Department of Health and her family for the 10 mile stretch
Tony and Sue were joined by Sophia Christie from the Department of Health and her family for the 10 mile stretch


Sue said: “What Tony did in 1986 for cancer research is inspiring in itself, but to repeat the feat 25 years later to raise the profile of mental health issues should be heartily applauded.

“As someone who has tackled his own mental health problems, Tony is keen to speak to opinion makers, senior health officials as well as patients and the public as he continues with this inspirational endeavour.”

After leaving Birmingham Tony will pass through 22 cities including Leicester, Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool, before finishing in Newcastle on May 23.

Tony, founder of Breakthrough Art, also gave a special member seminar at our Uffculme centre in Queensbridge Road, Moseley on April 4, to explain why he is going the distance to raise awareness, as well as funds, about mental health.

He said: “I called this walk What’s It All About because for a long time I thought part of my own mental health problems were caused by the fact I think deeply about things. I will be talking to politicians, celebrities, senior health officials along the way, and maybe get some answers.

“I’m doing this primarily to raise awareness of mental health, and I was shocked to learn that less than one per cent of all charitable donations go to mental health organisations.”

 

 

Chief executive Sue Turner joins Tony Russell for a 10 mile stretch of his epic walk
Chief executive Sue Turner joins Tony Russell for a 10 mile stretch of his epic walk