Firstly I must apologise as my Just Giving page closed in error on the 4th February I except full responsibility for this as I did not realise the page was set for 120 days.
We hope to have a new page open in the forthcoming days possibly with a new heading as I have had people contact me wishing to make a donation.
Meanwhile the steps have continued to increase and in the past eleven days we have added 129,647 steps so now covered 1,698,241 steps which gets us very close to a thousand miles covered as the total miles now currently stands at 964.
A WEEK OF SURPRISES
I was pleased to be part of the mental health podcast that went out this week and I must say thanks to everybody for all the positive comments received from people who have been in touch via the internet and in person at yesterday’s FA cup fixture against Luton Town. I know everybody who took part in the podcast hopes that it will help people feel more comfortable about talking about anything that is on their mind and to reduce that fear factor of discussing mental health concerns.
I think another very big surprise this week was to find myself in the Sun newspaper on Saturday which again we really hope will help promote Shout 85258. Special thanks to Dan King from the Sun newspaper
I was pleased to receive a phone call this week from Peter Houghton from the Football Safety Officers Association asking if I would consider talking again about mental Health at the annual conference in Stratford this coming March.
I was fortunate enough to have previously been asked to talk at the conference a couple of years ago and I believe this played a significant part in my recovery from depression and PTSD as it was the first time I had spoken publicly for a very long time following treatment. Last time around I was very honest with Peter when he asked me and said I will do my best but if on the day I find it too much I will have to drop out. Peter was very supportive with this decision and said he fully understood. The day came and to say I was nervous was an understatement but why? Prior to my depression and PTSD I was always running table top exercises in front 100-150 people, running medical evenings with paramedics, hosting charity sporting dinners etc. but my confidence had been taken apart by the mental health challenges I had faced.
The day came and I found myself on stage in front of a large audience I was very honest about what I had been through during a six year journey and the effect it had on both myself , family and friends along with the treatment I had received, the symptoms I had gone through etc. My talk should have been 30 minutes but lasted 45 minutes and that in itself was a boost to my confidence but what happened afterwards came as a huge surprise as two people came up to me and said that they felt I had been brave to talk as I had and that they knew they had been suffering with their own mental health battles and that they had not done anything about it but would now ask for help.
None of us know what life will throw at us but it is reassuring to know that talking to one another and offering support can make a huge difference.
Just do something once a day to make people enjoy life and put a smile on a face it can be something as simple as what Mark Bonner did at the game this Saturday? Was it planned or was it impulsive? It really does not matter.
Mark walked out the players tunnel before kick-off onto the pitch unannounced with his hands above his head clapping supporters in all home areas of the stadium and they responded with enthusiasm which generated such positivity and noise that I have never witnessed at the stadium in all my 43 years at the club every single supporter must have felt invigorated by this simple act as I did.
Keep talking and don’t be afraid to offer support to others remember those three little words can make a huge difference
ARE YOU OKAY?
Andi and Ann Redhead
And the anonymous donations
The donations I received after the Just Giving page shut down will be added to the total when the new page opens.
Thanks again to everybody above who has sponsored in the past 10 days
Ian Darler B.E.M