A Bishop's Castle man is attempting to do a 177-mile ultra run along Offa's Dyke Trail to raise money for a campaign to help prevent suicide in the UK.

Alan Bateson, 42, has set himself the epic challenge in June to support CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) "because so many of us need mental health support right now".

On June 21, he will run the equivalent of going up Mount Everest from sea level and then back down again to raise £4,000. He has so far raised £3,303 which will go towards supporting CALM.

Alan said: "As far back as I can remember, I have always had issues with my mental health. I've tried self medicating with drugs and alcohol and I've tried anti-depressants from the doctor, but neither have worked for me.

"The things that have helped me, were being able to talk openly and honestly, be that with friends, family or counsellors. I've spoken to them all over the years, and every conversation has helped. Also, physical activity, has and does, play a huge role in keeping me mentally well.

"Over the last few years I have got more and more into long distance running. I nearly always run on trails and footpaths. Being close to nature and out "whatever the weather" makes me feel peaceful and content. The mental challenge to keep going when it hurts and I'm tired is similar to those days in life when I want to quit and hide from the world. Ultra running to me is just like life, and its made my life so much better. Its taught me to dig inside myself when I'm feeling empty, and that I have more to give than I ever thought I did.

"I want people to be aware of how exercise and running can help, and how we are capable of more than we think. Please give to my chosen charity CALM. They do so much to help people that struggle with mental health issues, and now more than ever so many of us are in need of support and someone to talk to."

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) runs a free and anonymous helpline 0800 58 58 58 and webchat from 5pm to 12am every day which is staffed by trained professionals.

To show your support for Alan, visit his online fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alan-bateson1