Andrew's 60th Year Challenges - No 1 - a Sky Dive

I have decided to take on as many challenges in 2016 as possible. I am doing a scary 15,000ft tandem sky dive on 14th February (subject to the weather); I am running the Manchester 10k on 22nd May and I am doing the Great North Swim (1 ml) on Windermere on 11th June and I have entered the Great North Run on Tyneside on 11th September.  That leaves half the year for further challenges yet to be confirmed! I shall update this page as further challenges are added. 

Martin and I spent many happy times taking on various challenges, and memories of those times will be with me while I suffer!

Mental illness accounts for one third of all illness, but research into mental illness attracts less than ten per cent of all health related research funds. Please give your support to the cause of advancing the knowledge and understanding of mental health and reducing the pain and suffering that result from mental illnesses.                                                                                                                                    

Apologies if there are problems viewing the video attached to this page. It can alternatively be viewed in Youtube at:                             
 Andrew, Heather, Ann, Martin & Yorick - 2010


An update 

The weather was perfect yesterday (14th February) and the tandem sky dive went ahead. It is a scary experience but once it is happening there is no time to think about what you are doing or where you are! The instructor was amazing. The only down side (if you’ll pardon the pun) was having to land in a field still wet and muddy from copious amounts of rain in the past few months!

Skydive 14th February 2016
Second challenge completed...still in one piece! Great Manchester Run was finished In just over 60 minutes – at the age of 60 - coincidence or what!

Saturday 11th June – The third challenge of this 60th birthday year...and this time it is swimming. I’ll be taking part (again!) in The Great North Swim (1 mile of Windermere) and I’m happy to say that this time my daughter Heather will be joining me. Also taking part will be my niece, Helen and family friend Shelley...all in all quite a team! This will be Heather’s first swim in an open water event so hopefully it will be an enjoyable experience for her. If you are able, please support us and help raise the profile of and the resources for, m

10th July - I completed a one mile swim event on Ullswater in the Lake District. This was my first time at this event. The weather was not exactly summery, with plenty of wind and rain!

21st August - I completed a one mile swim event on Coniston Water in the Lake District.. I have now completed one mile swims on three lakes in 2016 - Windermere, Ullswater and Coniston Water. The weather saw me coming again - a mixture of rain, wind and sun!

On to the 6th and final challenge of this my 60th year – the Great North Run on 11th September when I'll be lining up with one Mo Farah. It makes me smile to think that two such diverse talents are participating in the same event! We live in hope that through research those experiencing overwhelming mental distress, as our son Martin did for several years of his life, may be allowed better understanding and treatment, and those left behind who suffer the trauma and pain of losing a loved one too early may also be better understood and helped.

13th September 2016 - I completed the Great North Run on 11th September in a time of 2 hours 17 mins a
nd 20 secs and I am currently in the "recovery phase"! Thank you everyone for your support of the important cause of mental health research.

Well Done Andrew a really great effort