A Northamptonshire speaker and campaigner for male mental health and disability will tackle 96km of the Ridgeway National Trail on his off-road mobility chair.
Nick Wilson, from Towcester, is set to complete the trail over the weekend of June 18 and 19 as part of International Men’s Mental Health and Loneliness Awareness Week.
In tackling this monster challenge, Nick aims to raise awareness of three key issues he has personally battled with over the past year - male suicide and mental health issues, loneliness and disability.
Nick, who served 14 years in the Army, said: “I truly believe in pushing boundaries, challenging mindsets and not allowing disabilities to dictate what we can or cannot do and it is this belief which keeps me alive.”
The army veteran was left with complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a debilitating spinal disorder resulting in seven pro-lapse discs.
Nick, since completing a huge 385 miles cycle ride in 2021, said he has struggled with suicide ideation that was driven by chronic pain, loneliness and a decline in his spinal injury resulting in him becoming reliant on a wheelchair.
The mental health campaigner has invited people to join him along the Ridgeway National Trail as he and his team travel from the Lord Wantage Monument in Wantage to Barbury Castle in Wroughton, Swindon and then back again.
He will be raising money for various charities, including Northamptonshire Mind, and hopes to educate and empower individuals to better manage their challenges and show how everyone has the ability to do more so we can be more.
Fundraising and communications lead at Northamptonshire Mind, Nick Tite, said: “Nick is a true advocate for mental health and we are truly grateful he is helping to raise money for Mind in Northamptonshire.
“This fundraising effort will be crucial in helping us to continue to support our communities.”
Nick was named a winner of the ‘Inspirational Man’ award in West Northamptonshire Council’s Male Role Model Awards in 2021 for his work as a mental health advocate after founding men’s support group, ‘Talk Mental Health’ during the pandemic.
People can donate to Nick’s GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/96km-for-96guys.