Martin’s Fundraising Story
One week before his Moroccan trek for Mind in Bradford, Martin Cuthbert came in to speak to us about the challenge, his motivation for fundraising, and the importance of looking after your mental health.
Thank you for sharing your incredibly powerful story with us Martin, we’re sure it will inspire many others!
Get your T-shirt, get it on, get out there, and get going.
Hi, I’m Martin Cuthbert. I’m 40, from Keighley, and in a week’s time I’m traveling to Morocco to trek 26 kilometres up to 4100 meters for Mind in Bradford.
Why are you fundraising for Mind in Bradford?
So back in 2015, my fiancé at the time, she started suffering from mental health problems after birth of our second child. She went on to try to take her own life around Christmas 2016 and then eventually succeeded the following year. But during that period of time, Mind, and Mind in Bradford were helpful in terms of the resources and support that they offered myself and Amy.
Why do you think it’s important to talk openly about mental health?
Like most things, you don’t really understand until you’ve experienced it. And in terms of mental health, I think personally I was really ignorant towards what mental health was in the fullest extent.
When I remember when I went to university back 20 years ago and when Amy started to have mental health issues I understood then that during that period of my life I’d suffered quite severely with depression and anxiety.
At the time, I didn’t understand that that’s what it was. Just thought it was a phase or age or whatever.
And then obviously, going through what I’ve been through, you read and educate yourself. And even though you may well be open to listening and talking about things without going through or experiencing or fully understanding, or being educated in mental health or mental fitness. You don’t really have that opportunity to appreciate not only how other people feel but potentially yourself.
What advice would you give someone who is struggling with their mental health?
So for me, if you’re struggling with your mental health, take it back to basics.
So I created for myself a good list. Obviously after Amy passed away, I struggled with my own mental health for a time. And the basics for me are making a good list and a bad list.
So creating a journal for yourself, do lots of writing, making sure you’re getting plenty of sleep, and making sure you get regular exercise. If you can eat well. And then, on your bad list, write down the things that hold you back.
So, lack of sleep, drinking too much alcohol and choosing not to exercise. If you can do more things on the good list, than you can on the bad list, you will come out the other side of it.
How has volunteering and fundraising positively impacted your mental health?
I’m a big believer in fitness and activity for physical and mental health, and I’ve been fundraising for a long time.
I used to a lot of voluntary work when I was younger. And after what occurred with Amy, it just gave my fundraising and the activity side of things a little bit more focus.
So I’ve done quite a few things for Mind in general, Mind in Bradford in the past. Along with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital last year and a couple of other suicide support services as well.
But yeah, I think activity and fitness is key to mental health. Mental fitness.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of taking on a fundraising challenge?
Think carefully about why you’re doing it, first of all, and then potentially get your friends involved, get some support going and just get on it.
Get your JustGiving page or whatever it may be set up, speak to the likes of Lydia, or the services you’re dealing with and get involved directly with them.
Get your T-shirt, get it on, get out there and get going.
Martin has raised an incredible £1,570 and still counting! You can still donate through this page: https://www.justgiving.com/page/martin-cuthbert-mt-toubkal-trek-2023?fbclid=IwAR1su8OE1OP_suC15ffp-JaICqiaa-KCBJaY7dJRTFIEW5YBcuwM1FnlEP0
Posted on: 4th October 2023