What the Trek


Total raised so far£0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00


Raised offline: £0.00

Team story

[p]70% of children and young people who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions. [/p][p]Suicide is the 2nd most common cause of death for 5 - 19 year olds.[/p][p]We are trekking to raise money to encourage young people with mental health issues to go on life-changing adventures accompanied by people trained to appropriately support them. [/p][p]In October, in celebration of World Mental Health Day, 10 of us are climbing the Atlas Mountains in Morocco to the summit of Mount Toubkal. [/p][p]We'll be undertaking the challenging trek through the Mountain Range that ends in a climactic summit of the highest peak in North Africa, Jebel Toubkal. At its peak, we'll be standing at a staggering 4,167m![/p][p]All of us on the trek have personally experienced, or supported people with mental health issues including stress, depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. Some of those on the trek have made a recovery from very poor mental health that brought us close to ending the pain we were in. [/p][p]Our individual stories are compelling and give hope. These stories are driving us to climb the mountain as it is personally significant and symbolic of the life journey we each have been on. We believe that talking, physical activity and people who truly understand are all an essential part of recovery. [/p][p]We've set ourselves a challenge to raise £25K which will train 100 expedition leaders in Mental Health First Aid. We will be providing this training for expedition leaders who primarily work with young people to help restore confidence and build life skills. Expedition leaders typically have little to no training budget, so are hardly ever able to access mental health training. [/p][p]Your donation will be directly supporting expedition leaders to qualify as a Mental Health First Aider and add to their skillset the confidence to recognise signs of distress and provide support. This in turn will enable them to work with more young people who might be experiencing mental health issues. We know that physical activity, green space and teamwork does wonders for wellbeing. So please give to help young people build self esteem through experiencing the outdoors with mental health first aid skilled expedition leaders. Talking saves lives. [/p][p]Here are some thoughts from our team on what this trek means to us...[/p][p][b]Yamana[/b][i] [/i][/p][p][i]'I’d like to talk about my experience of mental illness. I started experiencing anxiety at around 14 years old; a few years prior I had just moved to a new town and started secondary school, which to begin with was a really fun change. [/i][/p][p][i]However, after a while I started experiencing shakes, stomach cramps, nausea and at its worst panic attacks and paranoid thoughts. It got to the point that the anxiety became so overwhelming that I struggled to go to school or leave the house at all. So I saw my GP who ensured there was nothing physically wrong and then after 3 years of trying different tools to manage my symptoms, I have now been diagnosed with social anxiety and am taking medication as well as therapy. [/i][/p][p][i]I am happy to say I am feeling on top of my anxiety. I now understand it better and this helps handling it. What has really helped me through this process has been my supportive family and friends and reading books like @allmadhereuk_ [/i][/p][p][i]Another important factor that helps me is keeping active, being at home a lot I started to practice yoga and go out running with my Dad. Exercise forced me to focus on the here and now, rather than have my head frantic. As a result, my mind has piped down and I’ve been able to do things that once terrified me such as using public transport and meeting people. [/i][/p][p][i]This key connection between exercise and feeling positive was a real breakthrough and has really motivated me to do this fundraising trek to the top of mount Toubkal - which is 4,167 metres high. I believe that I am well because I take care of my physical health and that in turn helps my mental health. [/i][/p][p][i]It would be amazing to have expedition leaders trained as mental health first aiders. so that they can support young people like me experiencing mental illness to get out, be active, and be well.'[/i][/p][p][b]Lynda[/b][/p][p][i]'I am passionate about the early recognition of poor mental health and what can be done to support those from an early age who feel different and don’t know why. I want everyone working with children to have the opportunity to have training in Mental Health First Aid in one way or another. It’s ok not to be ok, but people need to be trained to know how to help as early recognition is the key.[/i][/p][p][i]My own mental health has been a challenge over the past couple of years and I am lucky to have had the support of professionals and friends around me to develop my own toolbox of help and to recognise when my stress bucket is full. [/i][/p][p][i]In May I completed my training as a Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor and am both excited and passionate to deliver this training to as many people as possible in the next few years.[/i][/p][p][i]Many of you will also know I like a challenge and as a part of my 50 in 50 I am privileged to be able to join a group of like minded people to climb Mount Toubkal in Morocco in October. The importance of physical fitness being linked to good mental health is another concept I wholeheartedly support and recognise and my physical fitness needs a little boost!!!. [/i][/p][p][i]I have been challenged to raise £2,500 so please see the link below and help me in supporting this very worthy cause.'[/i][/p][p][b]Poppy[/b][/p][p][i]'I wanted to do something symbolic to mark the end of my role as CEO of MHFA England and to give a parting gift to the MHFA community. I love walking and I love being in high places...so here we are climbing Toubkal with an ambition to take a group selfie at the summit with the MHFA England banner! With this expedition, we want to demonstrate that both mental and physical health are interdependent and that we need to value them equally. I am very excited and I already have the saree ready for the team picture at the peak!' [/i]Poppy Jaman, CEO of the City Mental Health Alliance and Ambassador for Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England CIC.[/p][p][b]Sarah Servante, MHFA central team. (See blog at: realbuzz.com/blogs/sarahservante/climbing-for-mental-health-first-aid/)[/b][/p][p]‘[i]It's been a while since I've done my Duke of Edinburgh's award, but I know that whilst hikes are physically challenging, the biggest mountains to physical challenges are in the mind.[/i]‘ Sarah Servante, MHFA central team. (See blog at: realbuzz.com/blogs/sarahservante/climbing-for-mental-health-first-aid/) [/p][p][b]Ruth Cooper-Dixon, MHFA instructor. (Follow my trek training on Instagram @Ruthiecoops) [/b][/p][p][i]’As someone who suffers from anxiety disorders but who loves to push herself both mentally and physically, in hindsight it would have been reassuring to know that my expedition leaders were trained in MHFA. Mental health & physical health are intrinsically linked, so the importance should be on both.’ [/i][/p][p]Emma[/p][p]‘This cause is close to my heart as I have had my own anxiety issues, which probably started in my late teens. It was hard to deal with something you didn’t know anything about! I just thought I was overly shy and nervous, but my anxiety intensified over the years to the point where I didn’t want to leave my comfort zone. [/p][p]When it was really bad, I didn't want to leave my home. The thing was, I hid this well from friends and family but isolated myself in the process. I lost friends and missed out on opportunities but I was always known as the life and soul of the party. My anxiety was invisible to everyone but me.[/p][p]But now through education and medical support, I’m more in control of me, plus the meds help take the edge off! I'm no longer ashamed of my anxiety and I want everyone to know that mental health is not your identity, it's just a small part of who you are. It's certainly not your entirety of who you are.[/p][p]If I knew what I know now when I was in my teens and early 20s, I’d be telling myself everything is ok, you’re normal and there are people who love you and those that can help. Don’t put pressure on yourselve to be someone you think others want you to be. Just be you, because you are amazing, important and worthy’[/p][p]The expedition will be led by MHFA England instructor and professional expedition leader, Stuart Skinner. [/p][p]We'll be sharing our journey with you over the coming months so watch this space![/p][p]Thank you for your support![/p][p][b]More stories to follow...[/b][/p]
What the Trek image 1
What the Trek image 2


Personal Challenge Date

14 Oct 2018


Nov 30, 2018

Vicki Haxton

Deloitte fundraiser - cash


Nov 25, 2018

Pam Garside

good cause all the best


plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Nov 14, 2018


Well done team!!! You should all be incredibly proud of this massive achievement 😊


plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Nov 8, 2018


Well Done


Nov 4, 2018


Well done, Chris.


plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Oct 31, 2018

Emma and Joe


Oct 30, 2018

Jill from West Kent Mind

Well done Chris and team MHFA it looks like an amazing and indeed challenging experience and all for a great cause !


plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Oct 30, 2018

John H

Wonderful cause everyone, good luck on getting to your target!


plus £12.50 Gift Aid

Oct 29, 2018

Vicki Haxton

Poppy, Jaan and team - What an amazing achievement, well done trekkers!


plus £6.25 Gift Aid

Oct 29, 2018


Wow. What a superstar. Go Lynda Go


plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Stuart Skinner

Stuart Skinner

Sarah Servante

Sarah Servante

Jack Hedley

Jack Hedley

Yamana Jaman-Browne

Yamana Jaman-Browne

Lynda Mullins

Lynda Mullins

andy flockton

andy flockton

Ruth Cooper-Dickson

Ruth Cooper-Dickson

Jaan Madan

Jaan Madan

Emma Gunn

Emma Gunn

Chris Morgan

Chris Morgan

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