Gary goes to great lengths for mental health charity

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A Sheffield man will attempt to swim more than 100 miles to raise funds for local charity, Sheffield Flourish, this summer.

Gary Marshall, from Chapeltown, is aiming to become the first person to swim the entire length of the Yorkshire coast, from the Tees estuary to Spurn Point.

He is currently training at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre and Concord Sports Centre, both operated by SIV, as well as local open water venues to help with acclimatisation.

Gary is raising funds for Sheffield Flourish, a community hub that enables people living with mental health conditions to find the resources and connections they need to build the lives they wish to lead.

Roz Davies, managing director at Sheffield Flourish, said: “Gary is a courageous man on a mission to manage his own mental health through physical activity and to encourage and support others.

“This is what Sheffield Flourish is all about – finding ways to come together as a community – so I’d like to thank Gary for his wonderful efforts, and wish him every success on this huge swim!”

Gary, aged 39, said: “Mental health awareness is something that is close to my heart. I suffered from depression for a number of years before getting the help that I needed to get my life back on track.

“It was a long road to recovery, but it was exercise, swimming in particular, that gave me purpose while I wasn’t fit enough to work.

“I’ve set myself the ambitious target of raising £5,000 for this brilliant charity to enable them to continue to offer their valuable resources to the local community.”

Dominic Stokes, head of SIV Events and Ponds Forge, said: “Gary faces a tough challenge ahead - he should be an inspiration to us all.”