Paul Minter – co-founder and CEO of the Armed Forces mental health charity Head Up – was cheered on by his Purbrook family during his 5,000-mile run around the UK coastline in 218 days, to raise money and awareness for the cause.
On Wednesday, on the 116th day of the challenge which he began on March, Paul reached Portsmouth Harbour at 1.30pm, reaching a total of 2,613 miles – over half of his total mission.
He thanked those who joined him in support, including his cousin Charlie Johnson who ran with him for his final four miles.
Paul said: ‘Eighteen months ago I made a promise to a friend who sadly took his life outside my bedroom door, to do everything I could to help those in a similar position.
Only last year, I knew 11 amazing veterans and serving members of the Armed Forces, who lost the fight to suicide.
Having served 18 years in the British Army as a reconnaissance soldier and completing five tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, Paul knows the effect mental health has on veterans.
Head Up’s aims to reduce the number of suicides within the military community by providing a countryside retreat and ‘safe haven’ for post-military life, allowing veterans to access the support they need.He adds: ‘Since then, I along with three other passionate veterans have formed a not-for-profit charity. In only a few months we have raised over £300,000 towards the life changing £3m retreat, that is so needed.’
Paul will start and finish the colossal undertaking in Liverpool, running in a clockwise direction and covering around 25-30 miles a day.
‘I’m taking my first of many steps towards making this retreat a reality and making a stand against the lack of quality support for those who voluntary put their bodies and mental health on the line for their nation and the worlds greater good.’
Paul has already raised £38,212 for the cause, well over halfway to his £50,000 target.
The ex-military runner went for dinner with his family before heading to the Isle of Wight on Thursday.
To donate to Paul’s fundraiser visit justgiving.com/fundraising/paul-minter1.