Ex-Big Brother winner will pass Milton Keynes during extreme endurance challenge supporting mental health causes

The former Coronation Street star is taking on an extreme walking challenge to raise awareness around men's mental health.

By James Lowson
Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 3:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 3:42 pm
Ryan Thomas will pass through Milton Keynes on his walking challenge raising money for CALM
Ryan Thomas will pass through Milton Keynes on his walking challenge raising money for CALM

The 2018 Celebrity Big Brother champion, Ryan Thomas is walking the equivalent of 10 marathons; 262 miles, in just 10 days.

Timed to mark the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, Ryan is doing the challenge to raise money and bring awareness for mental health and suicide prevention charity, CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).

His journey will stretch from Buckingham Palace to Manchester Cathedral passing through Harefield, Tring, Wolverton, Welton, Coventry, East Litchfield, Stafford, Congleton and Stockport.

Ryan felt compelled to do something to support CALM after learning of the staggering statistics around male suicide. Men's mental health issues have been compounded by the pandemic and additional fears, plus a new sense of isolation many people are feeling.

Ryan said: "This challenge feels like one of the most important things I will do in my life. If this saves just one person or leads to one of my followers seeking help or asking if one of their friends is okay, it will be worth it.

"CALM is such a vital organisation – it’s an honour to be working with them and I am so grateful and inspired by their dedication to helping people who feel helpless. With COVID-19 having had such a devastating impact on mental health, there’s no better time than now to tackle the tragedy of the statistics.

"I want to thank everyone for their support, I can’t express how much it means to me and the CALM team. I’ll see you out on the road, with my walking shoes, blisters and all!"

Having lived a life in the spotlight, Ryan has over 1.5million followers across his various social media accounts, meaning the former Coronation Street actor has a great platform to inspire change.

The Office of National Statistics reports that 125 people in the UK take their own lives every week and 75% of all UK suicides are male. CALM’s frontline services and national campaigns aim to combat this while striving for a more hopeful society.

In 2020, CALM directly prevented 564 suicides and have revealed their helpline staff answer a call or webchat from someone needing support every 66 seconds.