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‘I owe my life to NHS’ - Fundraiser ran nine miles in mankini before taking dip in sea

PUBLISHED: 15:48 02 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:36 02 May 2020

Mathew Trett in his mankini. Photo: Mathew Trett

Mathew Trett in his mankini. Photo: Mathew Trett

Archant

A man who ran nine miles in a mankini around a Norfolk seaside town to raise money for the NHS says he “owes it his life”.

Mathew Trett, 31 from Great Yarmouth, spent Tuesday afternoon running around the town’s streets in a mankini before taking a dunk in the sea - all to raise money for the NHS’s Covid-response fund.

He ran from the Iron Duke pub to the Tesco in Caister, before heading back to Great Yarmouth through Newtown and jumping in the sea.

As he caught the eye of Facebook users, pedestrians and drivers, his donation pot swelled to £1,200 over the course of the day.

Mr Trett said: “I suffer from depression and anxiety, and have actually tried to take my own life multiple times.

Mathew Trett, who ran nine miles in a mankini for the NHS. Photo: Mathew TrettMathew Trett, who ran nine miles in a mankini for the NHS. Photo: Mathew Trett

“So when you hear about how cash-strapped the NHS is, and how much work they’re doing for us at this time, I decided I had to do something to help - like the way they helped me get back on my feet.

“It was fantastic - there was so many people cheering me on and blaring their horns as I passed.

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“And I had my friend Maxi as my camera-man, who filmed the entire thing on Facebook live.”

According to Mr Trett, an elderly woman who was driving in her car through Caister and spotted him in his mankini later tracked him down at the beach so she could give him something towards the cause.

Mathew Trett wants his next fundraiser to be specifically for the James Paget Hospital. which he says helped him when he was suffering from depression. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMathew Trett wants his next fundraiser to be specifically for the James Paget Hospital. which he says helped him when he was suffering from depression. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“She had stopped her car in the street when she saw me and did a U-turn. She followed me to the beach and gave me the money which I thought was really sweet.

“Of course there were a few people who weren’t happy - telling me that they would contact the police and that I shouldn’t be wearing a mankini around children.

“But if anyone had come after me I would’ve just kept running until I’d done the whole nine miles because it was for a good cause.

“I did let the police know in advance that they might receive a few reports of a man streaking in Great Yarmouth. Luckily I got through it without too much trouble.”

He added: “My mate who joined me said that the water was freezing but I could hardly feel the cold.

“My legs were burning and the water actually felt pretty fresh.”


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