Charity

Mind
Mind has been speaking out for better mental health for 60 years and is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. At Mind, we work for a better life for everyone with experience of mental or emotional distress.
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Mind Team 6's fundraising page

Fundraisers: 
Steven Edwards

My page: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/MindTeam6

Hi. Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Steven Edwards, I am 33 years old and married to a beautiful woman called Frankie, as well as being ‘daddy’ to a mischievous puppy named Lyla. I have lived my whole life in East London/Essex and have been a Police Officer for almost 10 years. I am an amateur writer and Liverpool FC supporter, who loves nothing more than a round of golf in the sunshine. I am also somebody who has experienced problems with my mental health, having been diagnosed with both an anxiety disorder and depression. 

On 8th October 2016 I will be taking part in a charity challenge - The Snowdon Multi-Activity Challenge on behalf of Mind. The challenge involves; Cycling 17km around the lake shore of Llyn Padarn, followed by climbing to the summit of Snowdon – 15km, 1085m high. We will then descend back down and Kayak for 4km across Llyn Padarn. Initially I was going to undertake the challenge alone, but as my battle with my mental health has required a strong team around me, it seemed only appropriate that my battle against Snowdon should involve the same. I will therefore be joined on this challenge by my wife, Frankie Edwards, my sister-in-law Roberta Cefai and my friends Anthony Crammer, Brad Frankel and Emily Rae. Together we are ‘“Mind Team 6”.

Mind is an organisation that provides advice and support to anybody experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. Mind are also particularly aware that people like myself - who work and volunteer within the emergency services - are at an increased risk of experiencing a mental health problem compared to the general population, and delivered the Blue Light Programme in response to this issue. 

Due to the Blue Light Programme, I was led to contact Mind and subsequently put in touch with my local Mind centre. I discovered that Mind were no longer able to deliver certain services for free, as they had done in the past, due to lack of funding. Whilst the costs are still incredibly low when compared to the benefits that you receive from them - and cheaper than pursuing such help privately - it is obviously an obstacle for people who simply cannot afford it.

I am fortunate. I have a loving family, willing to support me both emotionally and financially through my problems. My GP has been incredibly helpful, relentlessly pursuing NHS mental health services to get me the help I need. My friends have also been incredibly supportive, being available to talk when I need them, or keep me company when I feel low and alone. I have also been incredibly lucky to receive great support from my line managers at work, who have always put my health first, throughout my troubled times. But despite all of this support, I have still struggled. I therefore cannot begin to imagine what it feels like for those who are unfortunate enough to not receive such support at work or at home, and it is for people like these that Mind really exists.

Even in 2016, there is still a stigma attached to mental health and it is perhaps around this issue that Mind does it’s most valuable work. Awareness needs to be raised around the seriousness of the issue and the need for early intervention and support. Mental health problems are extremely prevalent in modern society, yet are often acknowledged with nothing more than a simple “pull yourself together, you’ll be fine”. Sometimes this is due to ignorance, but mostly it’s down to a simple lack of education. 

For the vast majority of the time that I have been experiencing my problems, my family simply had no idea as to what was the right thing to say or do. And a major factor towards that was that neither did I. We spent a lot of time looking for help in all the wrong places. That wasn’t because people didn't care, they simply didn't know what to do. I spent a very long time thinking that I would merely snap out of it. That I was just being weak and could get my head straight with a few simple counselling sessions. I was wrong and wish I had known then, what I know now. Hopefully by continuing to raise awareness, Mind can prevent others from taking the same route that I have.

So, why did we choose the Snowdon Multi Activity Challenge? Firstly we wanted to pick a challenge that was truly that, a challenge. Something that would test us physically and emotionally.  Something that didn't require us to just do a bit of running or walking in preparation. Physical wellbeing is a huge part of mental wellbeing. 

On a personal note, I wanted to do this challenge (and do it for Mind) because I wanted to be clear as to my reasons for taking part. As I’ve mentioned above, there is a stigma around mental health that means many of us keep our issues to ourselves. I wanted to overcome my own anxiety about opening up. Not only for myself, but hopefully as a message to others who may be experiencing similar problems to mine. The more people that you tell, the more people that can help. 

I still experience high levels of anxiety (often for no reason at all) on a daily basis, as well as dark bouts of depression. I take medication. Thankfully I no longer self harm, feel suicidal or lock myself away and shut down. I have made real improvements. Having a goal (and a change in medication!) added to the love and support I receive from the people around me, is beginning to make a difference.

We are aware that nowadays there are a lot requests that come your way for donations. So I’d like to reiterate that this is for quite a unique cause, I’ve only ever had one other person cross my path that was raising money for Mind. To ease the financial burden for those of you that know multiple members of the team, Mind have kindly allowed us to do a team target for our minimum sponsorship, sparing you from having to sponsor 4 people individually for example. But I would still like to request that you donate as generously as you are able to. We hope to do some other fundraising events across the summer such as BBQ’s and bake sales to help us reach our target. I’m also intending to write a blog detailing my experiences.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, hopefully, you will now become a part of Mind Team 6!

Steven Edwards

Frankie Edwards

Roberta Cefai

Emily Rae

Anthony Crammer

Brad Frankel

Please feel free to view my blog at https://stevensaysblog.wordpress.com

Recent donors

17.10.16 Well done guys!!!

14.10.16 Berry's

14.10.16 Good luck guys. Love Viv and Rus xx

11.10.16

10.10.16 Well done all great effort x

10.10.16 Well done Brad!

10.10.16 Well done Em and team!

09.10.16 Well done all. Hope you enjoyed it.

09.10.16 Congrats team, great cause!

08.10.16

08.10.16 Good luck!

07.10.16

07.10.16 Good Luck!!! xxx

07.10.16 Good luck!! X

07.10.16 Good luck Steve, and the rest of the team!

07.10.16 Best of luck to you mate, and to your team too. Keep raising awareness, so many more people aren't or can't be as open about this kind of struggle. Stay strong fella.

07.10.16 All the best! X

06.10.16 Amazing challenge for a great cause! Good luck Brad and the whole team, you'll smash it! xx

06.10.16 Good luck Guys! Amazing cause! Try your best to enjoy it x

06.10.16 Good luck Bert, smash it. X

06.10.16 YOU GOT THIS

06.10.16 Good lucks guys xxx

06.10.16 Good luck guys! Especially you Bert, you need it.

06.10.16 Best of luck for a great cause!

06.10.16 Good Luck hope all goes well xx

£3,256.00

Running total

Target:
£2,250.00
Total raised incl. Gift Aid:
£3,851.00
Total donors:
113
Last donor:
Tom and Paula
17.10.16  
Offline fundraising:
£0.00