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Craig Bullard – My RED January Journey

My story with Suffolk Mind began last January 2019; I’d set a challenge with a team of friends to run 24 miles every day for 7 days on a treadmill. During the organisation of this event, I was told about RED January and how the month long challenge was growing more and more popular each year – and that’s when I said I’d take part in January 2020 – and now here we are.

My target for RED January was to exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, ranging from a 1 mile walk on my lunch break at work, to a 5.5 mile run on my days off. In terms of my own physical fitness, I would easily put myself in the “more could be done” category so RED January was the start of a better, healthier year physically and mentally, so what a great way to kick it off.

After such a busy but also very festive December (I am a butcher, no more needs said does it?), I was really looking forward to getting started. I attacked the first few days of the challenge head-on clearing the cobwebs out of the muscles and joints I hadn’t used for a very long time. I knew I was going to ache as it was a shock to the system, so lots of stretching and foam rolling was needed to keep as fresh as possible.

As we headed towards the middle of the challenge, I had the great opportunity of getting back into the gym at Cross-Fit Orwell, run by Darren and Kirsty – a weeks worth of 30 minute lunchtime workouts were a fantastic way of getting the job done but also kept it interesting. It’s always a superb atmosphere and environment to train in there, so a thank you needs to go to them for giving me the chance to get involved.

The biggest thing I have achieved over this month is the 5.5 mile runs – the first run I completed I had to walk the two major uphill stages. However, on day 26 I was greatly surprised when I ran the whole 5.5 miles and even made it up the two hills. So even from this month alone, physically I have improved, but we have only just begun!

RED January is a challenge, but one performed within yourself where you can set your own targets.  The best bit about it is that all the hard work and effort you put in, is for you. It’s a great way to start a new year, allowing you time to focus on yourself and set goals for the rest of the year along the way. The goal I have set myself for 2020 is to be the best me I can be physically and mentally, and without RED January, I wouldn’t have even begun my journey.

Author: Kristina Brinkley

Posted on: 31st January 2020

Chairman’s Charity Walk – one stage down, nine to go!

The Chairman of the Suffolk County Council, Councillor James Finch, who has chosen Suffolk Mind as his charity of the year for 2019/2020, began his mission of completing 10 fundraising walks, along the Stour Valley Path for Suffolk Mind at the weekend. He was joined by Jeannette Finch and Juliet Allerton. In his own words, this is how they got on… (more…)

Author: Kristina Brinkley

Posted on: 26th June 2019

The Value of Space…and the Cost of Congestion

COMING SOON: Spring 2020

At Quay Place in Ipswich in Spring 2020, Suffolk Mind is organising a conference looking at how space can be a positive influence on mental health. Suffolk Mind’s Ezra Hewing looks at the value of space, and how it can be a barrier or an enabler to getting key emotional needs met.

If you’re interested in being part of the debate, perhaps contributing research or speaking at our conference, email ginny.idehen@suffolkmind.org.uk. (more…)

Author: Kristina Brinkley

Posted on: 26th June 2019

Suffolk Food Hall – Charity of the Year

The team at the Suffolk Food Hall have chosen Suffolk Mind as one of their chosen charities of the year for 2019 and are supporting us with many events and activities throughout the year. They update us on what they’re doing for Suffolk Mind.


Author: Kristina Brinkley

Posted on: 6th June 2019

Sleep: Have you found your sleep pattern?

Staying well – we know we need the right diet and regular exercise. And we know we need the right amount of sleep. But why are so many of us struggling with poor sleeping patterns? Ezra Hewing, Head of Mental Health Education at Suffolk Mind explains more.

Finding the right sleep pattern

Are you or is somebody you know stuck in a bad sleep pattern? As any parent knows, trying to get small children into the habit of going to bed and waking up at the right time can be hard work – especially when parents are need of sleep too! Establishing regular going to bed and getting up time takes effort. And that’s because sleep patterns are a learnt behaviour – for children and adults.


Author: Kristina Brinkley

Posted on: 16th May 2019

Achievement: small steps are the way to start

Written by Ezra Hewing, Head of Mental Health Education, Suffolk Mind

We all need to feel that we are achieving things and growing. These don’t have to be huge achievements either. Achievements can be small tasks, like cooking a meal for ourselves, which gives us the sense that we are in control of our lives and managing. Achievement is good for our self-esteem; especially if we are doing something we are good at and learning to get better.


Author: Kristina Brinkley

Posted on: 16th May 2019

What does stress tell us?

April is Stress Awareness Month but what is stress? The Head of Mental health Education at Suffolk Mind, Ezra Hewing tells us more…

Mental health is a spectrum…

The way we see mental health has changed. Thanks in part to celebrities being more open about their mental health, we feel better able to talk about our mental too. All of us have mental health and our mental health can fluctuate too – depending in part on how we respond to stress. (more…)

Author: Kristina Brinkley

Posted on: 2nd April 2019

How to Nourish the Brains of Our Young People

Written by Charlie Green, Emotional Needs & Resources Trainer at Suffolk Mind and Lead Trainer on Early Minds and Easy Minds Training Program reaching Schools in Suffolk.

We all know that helping to nurture the mental health of the young people in our lives needs to be a priority, but in this busy world we live in, how do we go about it while keeping all the other plates spinning?

Below are 5 bite sized ideas to help you nourish the brains of young people in your life. (more…)

Author: Kristina Brinkley

Posted on: 5th February 2019

Attention – an emotional need and a resource

Written by Ezra Hewing, Head of Mental Health Education, Suffolk Mind

Attention is an important emotional need. Sometimes people who are obviously in need of attention are dismissed as needy attention seekers, but this is unhelpful and doesn’t support their emotional health and mental wellbeing. We all need attention and we could help each other in healthier ways by exchanging positive attention.  (more…)

Author: Kristina Brinkley

Posted on: 14th December 2018

Jon Neal: My RED January experience

As Jon Neal, the Chief Executive of Suffolk Mind gets ready for RED January 2019, he reflects on his experience last year.

When I first heard about RED January I thought it sounded like an interesting way to raise money for Suffolk Mind through a bit of sponsorship activity.

I hadn’t taken part in any meaningful physical activity (running around after my kids aside) since playing badminton in my early thirties…occasionally. And before then, not since doing PE at school…which I dropped in my options aged 14.

So I wasn’t exactly the fittest person around. (more…)

Author: Kristina Brinkley

Posted on: 10th December 2018

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