Teacher thanks supporters after completing epic trek of Wales

Stuart Jessop - and faithful companion Poppy - walk 700 miles to raise awareness of mental health issues

Teacher thanks supporters after completing epic trek of Wales
13 January 2014

A Cambridge teacher has thanked those who supported him during a 700 mile walk to raise awareness of mental health issues.

Stuart Jessup (pictured right) trekked the Welsh coast, from Chepstow to Chester, with his faithful springer spaniel, Poppy.

Braving awful weather at times, the pair completed the walk just before Christmas and have raised just over £1,000 for charity.

Stuart said: “The walk went really well and I’m pleased with the money that been pledged and the all the support I received.
“I’m now thinking where I can walk next and I think I might go to Northern Ireland next.”

Stuart’s wife Kate Atkin, who supported him during his three month challenge, said: “Stuart and Poppy narrowly avoided the floods caused by the storms and the subsequent tidal surge in North Wales.  They had already experienced lots of weather during his trek, having to retreat inland at one point to avoid being blown off the cliffs of the Pembrokeshire coast path.  He also became very adept at herding cattle and rescuing sheep that had managed to jam their head into wire fences as a result of the ‘grass is always greener’ syndrome.”

It was not the first time that 53-year-old Stuart has tackled such a long distance. Beginning in the winter of 2011, he spent eight months walking 2,600 miles round the coastline of England.

Speaking in CPFT.nhs.uk in October, Stuart - a Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust service-user who has suffered from depression - said: “I love doing these walks. There’s no doubt that walking has always helped my depression and I do them to raise awareness of the fact that one in four people will experience a mental issue during their lifetime.”

Stuart’s walks raise money for mental health charities, SANE and Anxiety UK. His England walk raised £14,000 and so far his Wales walk has raised nearly £500.

He also recently shared the floor with Labour's former director of communications, Alastair Campbell, at a conference at The Royal Society in London, which was held to launch the depression section of the healthtalkonline.org website.

Now back in Cambridge, Stuart has continued in his career as a maths teacher at a secondary school.

For more information about Stuart follow him @waleswalk on Twitter or visit www.facebook.com/englandwalk to read more about his exploits.


For more information please contact:

Andy Burrows
Communications Manager
E andy.burrows@cpft.nhs.uk
T 01223 726767

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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