Dan Keeley, 32-year-old Community Manager for a youth snow sports charity, lives with bipolar disorder and was inspired to fund raise after experiencing a full-scale manic episode when on holiday in Italy in 2012.
He spent time in psychiatric wards and after several years of recovery and professional help, he is now supporting the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), the charity working to prevent male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK.
Dan’s dedicated website www.rometohome.com tells his story, provides the link to his fundraising page and details his solo and unsupported endurance challenge where he’s running anything from between 20 and 40 miles a day “to show others what you can achieve if they have the right support and professional guidance”.
He started in Rome on 25 August and hopes to arrive in London, on 28 October, passing through his home town of Sevenoaks on the way to his £12,000 target which will help keep CALM’s helpline open for 12 nights in a row. The helpline receives around 200 calls a night from men wishing to take their own lives and Dan’s fundraising efforts will fund a total of 2,400 calls from men who are experiencing mental health issues.
Dan, who studied until 2008 at what was then the university’s Chelsea College in Eastbourne, said: “I want to play my part in normalising the conversation surrounding mental health issues, reduce the number of male suicides in the UK and to show others what they can achieve when you really put your mind to it.”
Dan is inviting university students and anyone else to join him on some of his journey when running through Eastbourne, Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Bromley on the way to London between 24 and 28 October.