Stevenage personal trainer set for 90-mile walk in aid of mental health charity

PUBLISHED: 11:56 02 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:21 02 April 2019

Phil Burman at his free boot camp which raised money for charity Young Minds. Picture: DANNY LOO

Phil Burman at his free boot camp which raised money for charity Young Minds. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

A Stevenage personal trainer will be undertaking a 90-mile walk this week to raise funds for a mental health charity, after improving his fitness helped to turn his life around.

Phil Burman runs boot camps through his company Super Circuits. Picture: DANNY LOOPhil Burman runs boot camps through his company Super Circuits. Picture: DANNY LOO

Phil Burman, of Chells Manor, will set off on his four-day challenge on Friday to raise money for the mental health charity YoungMinds.

Starting in Eastbourne and finishing in Southampton on Tuesday, April 9, Phil will be joined by TV therapist Steve McKeown, Steve’s sister Sarah Brown, UFC commentator John Godden, and head of Samsung UK Chris Smith.

Their goal is to remove stigma around mental health and encourage more open conversation. Members of the public are invited to join the group on the walk and talk about their mental health issues.

With 75 per cent of mental illnesses said to start before a child reaches their 18th birthday, YoungMinds provides support to children and young people – promoting good mental health.

YoungMinds is a mental health charity for children and young people. Picture: DANNY LOOYoungMinds is a mental health charity for children and young people. Picture: DANNY LOO

It’s a very personal cause for Phil, who told the Comet: “I had depression and anxiety for many years including agoraphobia when I was younger. When I was in my 30s I was very unfit too, so this combined meant I wasn’t in the best place mentally or physically.

“My motivation is to show people what is achievable if you add fitness into your life, whatever you choose to do. Mine was weights and power lifting.

“By getting into weights I gained confidence and this began to impact on other areas of my life. I got promoted at work, qualified as a PT, started my own boot camp, and then competed nationally at power lifting – earning a silver medal.”

Phil, through his company Super Circuits, ran a boot camp on Saturday, where 18 individuals endured a gruelling outdoor workout.

Improving his fitness improved Phil's mental health. Picture: DANNY LOOImproving his fitness improved Phil's mental health. Picture: DANNY LOO

The day raised £300 through online donations and contributions, with an overall goal to reach £10,000.

Phil added: “I would like to see more youngsters being given the access to more fitness and mental wellbeing services, too, which is where an organisation like YoungMinds helps.”

To find about more about or to donate to Phil’s cause visit gofundme.com/the-walking-therapist. And for more information on the charity see youngminds.org.uk.

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