North Kent Mind, The Almshouses, 20 West Hill Dartford, Kent, DA1 2EP
- General Office: 01322 291380
- Fax: 01322 285294
- Housing Enquiries: 01322 222256
Are you interested in fundraising for North Kent Mind? You can download our information sheet Fundraising NKM. Please contact us; email@example.com
GR20 a 185K fundraiser through the mountains of Corsica.
Hello, I’m Harley. I have called Dartford home since 2010 and despite the M25 car park on our doorstep, I enjoy living here and I have met many wonderful people. I also work locally for Dartford’s Early Help Team, where I support children, young people and their parent’s or carers.
In 2012 I started training as a Social Worker. I wanted to challenge my thinking around mental health because the only views I had, were echoes of those in the media of the time. Stigma is still very real and needs to be challenged, but even just 5 years ago it seemed as though any violent crime was being blamed on someone’s mental health and language in headlines still included words like ‘loony’ or ‘bonkers’. I wanted to understand more and so was very pleased to be offered a six month placement at Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Mind (now, North Kent Mind).
I was struck by how caring the organisation and its workers were. Whether volunteer, Mind support worker, counsellor or manager there was a deep sense of empathy and understanding towards those in need of support and an unyielding commitment to doing all that could be done. During my time here I worked with individuals and groups of people with issues including but not limited to; anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, paranoia, bi-polar disorder, personality disorders and psychosis. What I liked most was that when I finished my placement in 2013, I very much saw each human being for the person they were and not just a label given to or accepted by them.
In January 2014, I was approached to join as a Member of the Board of Trustees, something I felt and, through re-election, continue to feel very privileged by. As board members, we oversee decisions relating to the services that are provided and the strategic development of the organisation, including the responsibility of employing a growing number of people. As it is a voluntary role, we donate our time to do this, and I am delighted to contribute to my community in this way. However I want to do more.
Why am I fundraising?
A friend of mine had this idea to complete a big challenge. I was thinking something like a bungee jump or even a parachute jump. Something big, but over quite quickly. Then he mentioned the GR20 which I had never heard of. It’s basically a walk, but not an easy one. GR stands for Grande Randonnee (in French) and these are a network of long-distance trails throughout Europe. The GR20 is 185km long and runs through the mountains of Corsica. I was a bit hesitant at first, but then I thought, why not! It would give me an opportunity to raise awareness and fundraise for North Kent Mind and I enjoy a challenge. Not only that, but this challenge parallels life in many ways. It will be a journey, with many ups and downs (both physical and emotional) but it will be travelled with friends, with opportunities to make new ones along the way. I kind of like the symmetry.
I support North Kent Mind because it does good work in my local community. However, I want to stress that all mental health charities and organisations are incredibly important because difficulties can affect any one at any time. Managing your own mind can be really hard! I strongly believe that with the right help and a good people to deliver local services, people can overcome mental health challenges and go on to lead successful, rewarding and meaningful lives. North Kent Mind is vital to this in our local community, not only because it already provides a great number of services across Dartford but also in Gravesham, Swanley and Medway. It also has a dedicated team of the most wonderful people who are passionate about supporting others and reducing the stigma of mental health.
My fundraising page can be found at:
I also have a Facebook page called ‘Harley’s Help: Fundraising for Mental Health&Wellbeing’. Please like, share and keep up-to-date with training and other bits and bobs on this challenge.
Thank you for your interest and support.