RED January Champions

West Kent Mind are gearing up for RED January 2020!  Thank you to all our local supporters who have already signed up to take on the challenge of getting active every day in January. We are excited to introduce our RED January champions who we hope will inspire you to join us, starting with West Kent Mind ambassador and RED January Champion Dame Kelly Holmes.

And if you haven’t already, sign up here for Red January!

Read more stories from our RED January Champions:

Steve Wolfe, CEO Kent Sports Trust

Read Steve's story

Running? What does it mean to me? Everything. It’s that simple. Quite a bold statement I know, but I don’t quite know how I’d have coped with certain aspects of my life without it. At 39 years old, I was inactive, overweight and a ticking time bomb, both physically and mentally. A heart scare in the January of 2014 was enough for me to realise I needed to make changes and get out and be active. I’d always loved running as a kid and thought it could be my answer.

If only I knew then what I know now. Two suicides in the family in recent years have shown me how important it is that I run to maintain my mental health. So much so that I began my run streak of running at least 5km a day on 31st December 2016. As I go into RED January I will be in my fourth year of running every single day, come rain or shine, through thick snow at times and yes, even on Christmas Days. Why do I do it? Because I can and because I love it. I can’t express enough how it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. When will I stop? Who knows! The new current plan is to see if I can get at least ten years out of this old body, but I tend to take it just one day at a time.

Can you run every day in January? Of course you can! I wholeheartedly believe it doesn’t matter how far or how fast you run, but getting out every day will be of the best decisions you will ever make. The hardest step of any run is the one out the front door and there are 101 excuses in the book for not doing it, but once out there, you won’t regret it. Running should be fun, so get out there and enjoy RED January!

Sophie Mills, West Kent Mind Supporter

Read Sophie's story

Last January I decided to take part in Red January for the first time after seeing a post on social media. I had been having a tough time in the months leading up to January and it was lovely to have a focus and get excited about something new. Of course I roped in a few friends and we experienced it together. January turned in to a month of socialising, laughing, moaning and being active.

People can be persuaded to do anything when a nice shiny medal, t-shirt and a bit of camaraderie are on offer.

Josh Singleton, Willmott Dixon

Read Josh's story

I find that when I exercise before work I have the motivation to get on with my day. I am a lot more pro-active and get a lot more done when I have been for a run in the morning. I also feel a lot more healthier and am also encouraged to eat healthier throughout the day rather than eating fast food in a fast paced environment that I work in. My colleagues have noticed the change in my work and they are also encouraged to get active as they have seen the difference it makes by getting the exercise in.

Chloe Sunnucks, The Ditzy Unicorn Project

Read Chloe's story

Hi, I’m Chloe, also known as the ‘Ditzy Unicorn’! The Ditzy Unicorn Project is a ‘pay it forward’ scheme that I launched in April 2018. I leave ‘little packages of happiness’ around Kent & Sussex, and the idea is to share what you’ve found with the Hashtag #DitzyUnicornProject, and then you can pay the kindness forward to someone else. It’s all about spreading joy and love, and making someone’s day that little bit brighter.

I started the project to spread happiness in the local area, as you never know what someone is going through. A small gesture, can change someone’s day. Happiness is a ripple effect, and smiling is infectious! In 2018 I was lucky to attend the Mind Media awards with ITV’s Loose Women and their lighten the load campaign. It was an incredible evening and was given the opportunity to share my story.

I was so honoured when West Kent Mind asked me to be a RED January champion, as I have taken part in the past and it made a huge difference. January is a very difficult time for many people, including myself, so having RED January to focus on kicked off the new year on the best foot! Taking 5 minutes out of your day to look after your body is all it takes, even if it’s just a little walk around the block or a 10 minute yoga session! Our physical and mental health is all connected to keep us going, and it’s so important to look after yourself as there is only one you!