Running ‘Miles for Minds’ and mental health

Running Miles for Minds

As many of us are looking forward to a summer of BBQs and beer gardens, former Cornwall resident Gary Head is shaping up for the physical challenge of a lifetime.

Over six weeks, Gary will run the entire length of the coast from Minehead, Somerset to Sandbanks in Poole. That’s a staggering distance of 1,013 km (630 miles) – at a pace of a half marathon every day. His goal is to raise £1,013 for each of the three Mind offices in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset Mind. He’s named his challenge ‘Miles for Minds’.

The reason why…

He is running in memory of his friend John Paul Childs, who took his own life in January 2018. Gary hopes that his challenge will raise awareness of the importance of providing support for people struggling with their mental health.

“Losing a friend in such heartbreaking circumstances was difficult for everyone that knew Johnno,” says Gary. “For me, mental health issues have added meaning because my own mother has lived with schizophrenia for most of her life.

“These days, I work for Active Dorset, one of 43 Active Partnerships across England. A big part of what we do is promoting the value of being physically active. It can impact positively on a person’s physical and mental health.”

To further promote the links between physical and mental health, Gary is inviting people to join him at different points on his journey. They can join him for as little or as long as they like. “Friends and family will join me at various points along the route. I‘d welcome anyone who wants to join me walking or running along the coastal path,” he says.

How you can support Gary

To see how Gary is progressing, and to work out where you can join him, you can follow him on Twitter @miles_4_minds or his Facebook page @milesforminds.

If you’d like to make a donation, go to