To celebrate the amazing fundraisers who donate to us every year, we're shining the spotlight on each and every one of them and this month we have Matthew Haycroft.

In June Matthew placed 45th out of 3000 people by completing the Great North Swim.

After receing support for his mental health earlier this year, Matthew decided to give back and he raised over £250 for our charity.

It always warms our hearts when people we have supported, decide to fundraise for us. Throughout November we'll be sharing Matthew's story as a way of thanking him for his efforts.  

"Dealing with anxiety issues can affect up to 5% of the population. Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind managed to help me deal with my thoughts and emotions through talking therapies. For quite some time I had the constant thoughts that I'm just waiting for the world to trip me up and fail. I have managed to be able to feel my usual self again, rather than constantly over processing situations, emotions, thoughts".

He went on to say that making the phone call was the difficult part of the process. We understand the first step is always the hardest, but people like Matthew show that getting support early can make a big difference.

"I couldn't recommend seeking support for your thoughts and emotions highly enough. Being able to speak about how I feel is one of the best motivators I have for overcoming anxiety".

"I firmly believe that male mental health is a massive issue at the minute, I am a strong believer that a problem shared is a problem halved!" We couldn't agree more!

Since fundraising for us in June, Matthew has also recently set up his business in open water swimming. He hopes this will help promote exercise and good mental wellbeing.