Dan Mounsey, our Director of Marketing and Business Development, is entering a 50km run to raise funds for a mental health charity in memory of his mother.
Dan is running an off-road 50km Ultra Trail challenge near Huddersfield on July 10.
He is running in memory of his mum, Gillian Mounsey, a former primary school teacher who died last year and whose funeral was held on the first day of the first national covid-19 lockdown. She had suffered from mental health issues for 20 years.
His run will raise funds for Tameside, Oldham and Glossop Mind, the charity which offers advice to people affected by mental health issues and lobbies organisations on their behalf.
Dan said: "My mum passed away last year and I was keen to raise some money for a charity in her memory. Awareness of mental health has grown in recent years. The impact of pandemic restrictions has highlighted its widespread relevance and I think the pandemic will have an impact on mental health for a significant time to come."
Gillian Mounsey died in early 2020, aged 71. When younger, she worked as a nursery teacher in Oldham and was well-known in the area. She was also active in her local community and a keen hill walker.
Dan recalled: "When I was younger, my mum brought-up me and my sisters for much of the time. My dad was a long-distance lorry driver so often worked away for weeks at a time. After teaching for many years, my mum's life changed around the age of 50. She suffered a breakdown and went into hospital for a while.
"This happened as I was turning 18. It should have been a time when my mum started enjoying a new chapter in her life. But, unfortunately, she became more reclusive. She gradually dropped off the medical 'radar' and spent her later years living largely in seclusion."
Her funeral took place on March 24 last year and Dan said: "That was the first day of the first national lockdown. The early restrictions were probably the harshest and the number of people at my mum's funeral was limited to just 10. There was not enough room for all her grandchildren. Lockdown restrictions also impacted on our ability to clear my mum's house and, for example, look at old family photographs. So, it's been a difficult time in many ways.
"Because of my own family's experiences and the experiences of others during the pandemic, I feel that running the 50km Ultra Trail to support a mental health charity is a good thing. I'm sure these feelings will strike a chord with many other people who have faced their own hardships and worries. I hope they will sponsor my run to support Mind."
Dan started running last year during the early lockdown. He said: "I began with short runs then gradually progressed to longer distances and off-road trails, which I enjoyed more. Through the Strava running and social networking app, I got in touch with an old friend and we started running together and he suggested the idea of entering some races.
"Activity is good for mental and physical wellbeing, whatever your age and ability, whether it's walking, running or something else. I'd encourage us all to build some regular activity into our lives and to look after our physical and mental health."
To donate, visit Dan's Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/danielmounsey
Tameside, Oldham and Glossop Mind (Registered Charity in England Number 1123549)