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Franks Story

Oxfordshire Mind are so inspired reading our fundraisers stories about how they got involved and the ways they are supporting the charity.

One of our supporters, Frank, who is taking on the 140k Ridgeway Walk, has very kindly offered to share his story:

*Trigger Warning – Sensitive Content*

‘As far back as I can remember I suffered from mental health problems. I always felt different. Around the age of 11, I was sniffing solvents, by 15 I had left school with almost no exams and was taking most drugs. By the time I was 30 I had suicide attempts, had been homeless and at one point I became sectioned. I was severely depressed, had zero self-esteem and suffered from crippling anxiety only held at bay by the daily cocktail of both prescribed and illegal medication.

My recovery started in Sept 2009. With support, I stopped using illegal drugs, took my medication as prescribed and spent what was to become the hardest two years of my life getting well. I joined the Samaritans and the 5 years I spent with those guys gave me so much more than I could ever put into words. That led me on to a full time job. At the same time I went back to college part time and spent another four years earning my Diploma. Beyond all my dreams I qualified and graduated. I met current my partner in 2017, moved to Oxfordshire to live with her and became employed in the local area.

This coming May I have decided to walk the 87 miles of The Ridgeway without coming down (free camping) over 5 or 6 days depending on how much I can cover in a day (I can currently do 10-15 miles in a training stint with sore feet the end, needing a few days to recover…) – My support will meet me once a day on route with food and water and anything else I may need.

I am doing this to really challenge myself and once again attempt a long journey. Walking, for me is so good for my mental health. It allows me to be in the moment, noticing what is around me in the here and now. Oxfordshire is such a wonderful county and I feel very lucky to be both alive, and living in such a wonderful place.

Alongside my walk, local artist Sophie Elliot (www.instagram.com/domoredoodling/) is going to auction an A1 Size oil painting of the Ridgeway in Oxfordshire in the style of Turner with all monies raised from this auction going to Oxfordshire Mind. The auction will take place on ebay on the same week as I walk.

Oxfordshire mind is the counties leading mental health charity that works tirelessly with those suffering or struggling with their own mental health. They offer so much from emotional support, information, transitional housing and wellbeing services and much, much more. Many local people go through a difficult time at one point or another and charities like OM are there to support them. Any monies raised from my walk will be given to those guys. They do such a stellar job. I hope to raise 10 pound for every mile of the Ridgeway. Please, please help.’

A big thank you to Frank for sharing his story, and for supporting us in this fantastic way! If you are interested in supporting Frank’s fundraising, you can visit his JustGiving page here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/domorewalking

We would love to hear your Oxfordshire Mind fundraising story so please get in touch at fundraising@oxfordshiremind.org.uk.

Everyone needs help with their mental health sometimes. No matter what your mental health problems may be, there’s always someone there to support you:

📞 Phone our Information Line: 01865 247788

📩 Email: info@oxfordshiremind.org.uk

◀️ Online: https://www.oxfordshiremind.org.uk/help/