I have direct experience of the devastating impact of mental illness both on sufferers and their families. In 1996 & 1997 I spent long periods in Leighton hospital in Crewe suffering with mental health problems. I saw first hand the effects on people and the struggle involved and I now have a profound understanding of this issue. In 1997 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.
In 1996, at the end of my treatment, a consultant psychiatrist asked me if there was anything more that the hospital could do for me. I now have the skill, daring and opportunity to repay that debt by supporting MIND in 2016.
In 2016 I, and a small number of colleagues, will embark on a series of challenges in aid of MIND. These challenges will blow your mind and I hope you can find it in you to support us by donating to the cause.
May 2016 - Solo ride the great Tour de France climbs in southern France including Mt Ventoux, Alp du Huez and Col Galibiere.
June 2016 - Climb Mt Elbrus in Russia. Elbrus in the highest mountain in Europe and one of the seven summits of the world. I will join an international expedition to undertake this challenge.
July 2016 - Take part in the 'Running of the Bulls' at the Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona in northern Spain.
September 2016 - Undertake the 'Across Wales Walk' with my friend Emma Foster. This is a challenging hike of a continuous 45 miles which will take 16 hours.
October 2016 - Undertake and lead the 'Road to Morocco Cycling Expedition 2016'. A 600 mile tour of the northern cities of Morocco, including: Casablanca, Rabat, Fez, Tangier and Meknes. Also including a crossing of the Rif mountains. I will be joined by my colleague and friend Randy Castle from the U.S.A.
November 2016 - Make an independent tour of the Baltic states and re-visit Minsk.
December 2016 - Travel to St Moritz in Switzerland to recce 'The Cresta Run', organised by the St Moritz Tobogganing Club. Hope to learn cross - country skiing.
January 2017 - 500 mile cycle tour of Cuba. I will go in search of the real Cuba - off the beaten track.
February 2017 - Return to St Moritz to train for the Cresta Run tobogganing course and to then ride the Run.
March/April 2017 - Major expedition - to be announced at a later date.