The Chairman of the Sussex Disability Football League (SDFL), Steve Atkins, took part in ‘The Mind Walk’ walk last month raising valuable money for the charity, MIND.
Steve, who has also worked as a coach for our Disability Representative Squad, has so far raised over £400 which has smashed the £100 target originally set out.
As part of the challenge Steve completed a surf and turf walk completing three miles through the woods and then a further 6 miles through the sea and pebbles in Seaford.
The SDFL is, of course, not just about visible disabilities, but non-visible ones too in which mental health falls into the category for.
Thus, MIND is a crucial charity for the league to support and raise money for. Speaking to Steve about the charity, he is passionate about the work they are doing: “The MIND charity is extremely important to me and the league as it offers a beacon of hope for the many.
“There are many people who struggle with their own mental health and for these who are concerned for the well being of others. It is a place to go for advice, support and a message that no-one should be alone.
“They campaign tirelessly, not only to raise awareness, but to fight for the rights and benefits of everyone who suffers with their mental health.”
For Steve, it was not just about raising money for the charity, but also to maintain his own mental and physical health, something he believes goes beyond just talking: “Where I agree totally that it’s great to talk about your struggles, I believe that the trick really lies in the listening and understanding. For me, that’s what MIND does.
“The walk itself was fine, three miles through the woods and six on the edge of the sea and I had a lot of encouragement along the way.
“I find that walking helps me in my own battles. I walk over 3 miles every morning in the dark, with my dog. This is the time when I attempt to let it all wash over me as I try and prepare for the day ahead and I would probably come across as a bit different to the person that a lot of people think I am.
“Ultimately though, only you know how you feel.”
Our Lead Equality Officer, Jade Harker also spoke of his achievement: "Steve is not only the Chairman of the Sussex Disability Football League. He is also the heart of the league and we are proud that Steve decided to take on this challenge to raise awareness of Mental Health and of the league too.”
STEVE'S JUST GIVING PAGE
For more information on Disability Football in Sussex please contact:
Sussex Disability Football League
T: 0749 3416 435