A Spalding man who works for the police says his life has been turned around thanks to a charity that aims to improve people’s mental health by getting them closer to nature.
Matt Heaton was one of 20 people who took part in the Mind Over Mountains arranged trip to the Peak District last weekend.
He was so impressed by what the charity does, particularly with regards to his own mental health issues, that he immediately organised his own charity effort.
On July 31 he’s going to be walking 26.2 miles around Spalding to help the funding of more such weekends.
“I’ve come back from what they do a completely different person and now I want to help them as they’ve helped me,” said Matt. “I’ve seen a massive improvement in my mental health already.
“I had a fantastic time. It was the best weekend of my life.
“It made me realise I’ve got a lot to live for. Being outside and with nature was just eye-opening.”
The weekend involved separate ten-mile and six- mile walks around Bakewell in Derbyshire and involved a night in a dormitory.
All of those who went on the trip with Matt work for the police. Matt is with Cambridgeshire Police.
He says his own mental health issues were triggered by a number of things, including the pressures surrounding his work.
“It encouraged us to talk to each other about our issues in a whole new environment,” Matt continued.
“There was a level of anxiety as I didn’t know what to expect, but we all bonded as a group.”
Matt is still finalising the route but is encouraging others who might join him at spells of his walk – as his friends and mum Anita have pledged to do – to get in touch.
“I’ve never done anything like it before but I’m looking forward to giving something back,” Matt said.
To donate or contact Matt visit https://www.just