Estate agent puts running shoes on for mental health cause

James Hastings

Norwich City supporter James Hastings, left, is raising funds for Mind in 2021. - Credit: James Hastings

A Norfolk football fan is hoping to help people find a way out of their 'personal dark tunnel' by running more than 1,200 miles for a mental health charity. 

James Hastings, 22, from Saxlingham Nethergate, will be running a total of 1,939km this year in aid of Mind. 

This is the equivalent of running the distance between all 24 teams in the English Football League Championship, with Mr Hastings being a big Norwich City FC supporter.

James Hastings

James Hastings is raising awareness and funds for mental health charity Mind. - Credit: James Hastings

Mr Hastings, who works as an estate agent in London, has set the goal of running two marathons, 24 half marathons, 75 10ks and 125 5k runs over the course of the year. 

The University of Birmingham graduate said: "Mental health over the last year has been a challenge for everyone. I have been talking to a few friends who have had personal struggles when they did not realise.


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"It's about encouraging them to open up and accept it a bit more as people are often afraid they may be judged or for men it may be seen as not being manly." 

Mr Hastings, who plays cricket for Acle, raised over £3,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust last year after his friend was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 21. 

James Hastings

James Hastings, 22, is running the equivalent distance of all EFL Championship football grounds in 2021 for Mind. - Credit: James Hastings

For his latest effort, he will be covering the equivalent of 5.37km every day, and he has already completed two half marathons. 

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Mr Hastings said: "It was a case of wanting to do another challenge and to take it to the next level by putting myself out of my comfort zone."

An online crowdfunding page has been set up with more than £1,350 of his £2,500 target already raised for Mind. But Mr Hastings is eager to go beyond that target if he can. 

His Just Giving page states: "It has been an incredibly tough year for everyone across this country and indeed the world. Not everyone has a loving family, a caring partner or supportive friends who they can share their concerns with. 

"Many people suffer alone, in silence and struggle to ever see a way out of their own personal “dark tunnel”. Challenges seem overwhelming. Problems seem unresolvable."

James Hastings

James Hastings is running throughout 2021 for Mind. - Credit: James Hastings

For every £500 raised, Mr Hastings has pledged to complete a themed run. Those who have donated in excess of £50 will be able to suggest a costume or theme, which could include running in full cricket equipment, a suit or even pants and socks! 

To visit the page, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/james-hastings2021

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