Bournemouth based running enthusiast Peter Thompson has set himself an immense personal challenge: On April 1st 2017, he will embark on an epic adventure and attempt to complete 44 marathons, in 44 days, in 44 countries. Starting in Russia, the challenge will see him run in every country in Europe, with the London Marathon being the half-way point.
Called ‘Marathons for the Mind’ his challenge is to raise awareness and funds for mental health, supporting the charities: Livability who run the Dorset based wellbeing discovery centre Livability Holton Lee and MIND.
Marathons for the Mind at Tower Bridge
Livability – one of the chosen charities being supported with the challenge – held a photoshoot with Peter at Tower Bridge last week – as the most iconic landmark in the London Marathon route.
‘In a year in which Prince William has cited the 2017 marathon as the ‘Mental Health Marathon’, coming to run the half-way point of my challenge at the London Marathon is going to be a real highlight. Whilst a little nervous about the challenge I have set myself, I am really excited about the adventure it will be.’
About Livability and the mental health gardening project ‘Flourish’ that has inspired Pete’s run
One of the charities Peter Thompson is running for is Livability – a national disability and community engagement charity. The charity delivers disability services and community projects throughout the UK, supporting disabled and vulnerable people.
Peter has been inspired by one such service called ‘Livability Holton Lee’ – a wellbeing discovery centre in Poole, Dorset, which delivers a gardening therapy project called Flourish.
Flourish is a gardening therapy programme for disabled people and people living with mental illness. Using the gardens in the expansive wellbeing discovery centre of Livability Holton Lee – activities include horticulture, conservation, woodworking and garden maintenance.
As a staff member at a local support service in Poole, Peter has seen the impact that the Flourish project has had on the people he has referred to the project. It supports 60 people each week and helps people grow in confidence, new skills, wellbeing and friendships. 98% of people that attended Flourish in a year reported an increase in social connections.
Peter Thompson said:
‘In terms of my own experiences of mental health I have had many friends and family members who have and who still suffer from, a variety of mental health conditions. I have seen how debilitating this can be, and how frustrating it can be to see services stretched and the right support often extremely hard to come by.
‘I would not want to belittle or patronise people with long term mental health issues by suggesting I have suffered seriously myself, but like most of us I can say that I have certainly experienced moments and periods of my life where I feel I have had to reach out for the support of others. This has been more apparent within the last year or so and this challenge is very much a way for me to move forward and take a positive outcome from these experiences.’
Peter’s challenge is supported by a wide range of well wishers
Neil Stevens – Centre Manager at Livability’s centre in Poole said:
‘We are delighted that Peter has chosen to support Livability by attempting this amazing challenge. Livability is a charity that is passionate about tackling barriers that can cause people to be isolated. We know that growing awareness for and supporting people with mental illness is an essential part of this. Through our work at Livability Holton Lee, we put this in to action – creating a place of wellbeing, community and inclusion through the horticulture and woodland projects we run. We are proud that through such projects we are seeing people who live with mental illness report improved levels of wellbeing and social connection. We’re deeply humbled that Peter has chosen such a challenging way in which to help promote this vital and important work.’
Jason King, co-founder of EtchRock said:
‘EtchRock are extremely proud to be supporting Peter Thompson & his Challenge of running 44 Marathons in 44 Countries in 44 Consecutive days with what is set to be one of Europes biggest challenges yet! We hope to help raise as much as possible for Peter’s great cause as well as spread his message!’
Willemijn vandenBroek of Interrail said:
‘We, at Interrail.eu, are proud to support Marathons for the Mind, because of its great cause and that we can help out with Pete’s transportation to reach his incredible brave goal; 44 marathons in 44 days in 44 countries.’
Ross Taylor – Managing Director – Top Cat Media Group said:
‘We are very proud to be sponsoring Marathons for the Mind and Peter as he attempts to complete this incredible challenge. What an inspirational guy to take on an astonishing mission such as this. It is a true testament to who he is and the Top Cat team are full of admiration for his amazing commitment to this very worthy cause.’Click here to sponsor Peter
on his epic attempt to run 44 marathons, in 44 days!