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Massively encouraged by the success of his previous Helvellyn challenge, Alnwick man Paul Grundy will be attempting to reach the summit of Ben Nevis this summer – in his homemade off-road wheelchair.
As well as suffering from Post Thrombotic Syndrome caused by a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) in his leg, the 54-year-old also struggles with lifelong depression, anxiety and PTSD and will be raising money and awareness for the Samaritans through his latest challenge.
‘My father took his own life when I was 17 and because of my own struggles since I thought the Samaritans was the perfect charity to raise funds for,’ he told us.
‘I have lived with mental health issues all of my adult life and in recent years I have also added physical disabilities to my health issues.
‘I have a type of depression called Dysthymia and also have major depressive episodes as well from time to time. I have PTSD, extreme anxiety issues and social phobias which have led to a lifelong withdrawal from social activities because of the severe stress it causes me.
‘In short it has devastated and dominated my entire adult life.’
Despite these challenges, however, Paul continues to manage and battle through his conditions. Last year, assisted by a great team of volunteers, he successfully made it to the summit of Helvellyn and raised over £2,000 for the mental health charity Mind.
‘I hope we can make it bigger and better this time round and raise even more money for the the Samaritans,’ he added.
‘This publicity will also be a major challenge to me as well. I have some great support to help me with this but I am going to find it immensely difficult to deal with.
‘Hopefully by being open and honest I can help to highlight the issues that myself and many others face with mental health.’
Paul’s Ben Nevis challenge will take an estimated 12 to 14 hours to complete the round trip.
‘We still need a few more volunteers to help pull, push and carry me to the top so if anyone reading this in the Lochaber Times wants to help please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org,’ he added.
Paul and his team will be taking on the Ben on June 11. For more information or to donate go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ben-nevis-trike-hike