A 35-YEAR-OLD man from Bournemouth took part in the Bournemouth Marathon Festival’s half marathon on Sunday morning to raise awareness for a charity very close to his heart.

Chris Sheppard, a senior sales ops co-ordinator at Vitality UK, has used running as a form of rehabilitation to get over his own battles. As well as going through personal struggles, Chris also took part to show support for family and friends who have and still are going through similar troubles.

He said: “I wanted to raise money for Dorset Mind in particular because I have an incredible amount of people in my life that I care about that have, are or will be dealing with some sort of mental ill health to some degree in their lives, and I wanted to contribute to a charity doing an amazing amount of work to help those people.

“Most of us struggle with some sort of depression, anxiety, stress or mental ill health at some point, and Dorset Mind are educating people of the symptoms, and actions we can take to cope with these situations.”

Chris ran the 13.1-mile course on Saturday morning in 1 hour 53 minutes, well under the two hours target he had set himself.

Chris continued: “I hope by experiencing myself some of the help out there, by the likes of Dorset Mind, that others can use my story as an inspiration to make positive changes and live happier and healthier lives both physically, mentally and emotionally.”

. To donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Chris-Sheppard84