Charity worker Rose Bradbury is picking up the pace for mental health awareness by running the Royal Parks Half Marathon on 13th October to raise funds for FirstLight Trust…

Having taken part in the Great North Run and the Bath Half, she aims to beat her personal best this autumn to raise funds for FirstLight Trust. This is the charity she works for which supports former members of the armed forces and emergency services in civilian life.

Rose has always admired those serving in the armed forces and emergency services, and particularly the risk they take every day to protect others. She also realises that, although the importance of good mental health is slowly gaining more awareness, there is still a great deal of stigma attached to mental health issues. In particular for men.

“Poor mental health is something I have personally struggled with in the past,” Rose explains. “I found that running became an invaluable tool for me and a form of relief from anxiety and stress. It seems fitting to use running to potentially help others gain support and improve their mental health too.”

FirstLight Trust offers a variety of services to help those who have served in the armed forces or emergency services and suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mental health issues. They provide a warm welcome for veterans who have struggled to find support elsewhere. Their six hubs across the UK provide a space to socialise, enjoy a coffee and a cake, as well as receive help and advice.

“We are really lucky to have someone as dedicated as Rose as part of our team,” says Dorinda Wolfe Murray, the founder of FirstLight Trust. “The Half Marathon takes place just a fortnight before our Stress Down Day on 25th October which promotes well-being across the population, not just veterans. We look forward to cheering her across the finish line!”

The 13.1 mile route of the Royal Parks Half Marathon, presented by Royal Bank of Canada, takes in London’s world-famous landmarks and four of London’s eight Royal Parks. Approximately 16,000 runners taking part. Rose will post updates of her training on Instagram @firstlight_trust. Donations can be made online.