A DETERMINED woman set herself the challenge of completing 1,000 kilometers in just over a year to raise awareness of mental health issues.

Charlie Paradise has been taking part in a series of events – both on foot and in the saddle – as a continuation of the work she has been carrying out in the Swindon area since 2012.

The 34-year-old began her epic journey in September 2018 with a 42k marathon walk in Reading and has since completed 36 events. She has four more remaining.

Charlie is raising money for Heads Together, a national charity helping people who are struggling with mental health issues.

“I have chosen this charity for the fundraising side of things, but really this is more about awareness of mental health," said Charlie.

“I started this challenge last September with a marathon walk. I just wanted to raise awareness in the most creative way.”

To highlight her support for the charity, Charlie wears a blue headband to every event.

She added: “It is estimated that one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and, linked to the one in four, I wanted to complete 1,000k in 400 days.”

Charlie has been adding up the distance she has completed after each event in order to reach her 1,000k target. But she did not want to do it all in one go.

She said: “It is a very long way and I wanted to spread the message and involve as many people as I could.

“By doing different events, I got my friends and family to join me and I encouraged them to think about mental health issues.”

Challenges Charlie has completed so far include a 23k ride at the Evans Cycles event in Lacock and the Newbury Duathlon, incorporating two 5k runs either side of a 25k cycle.

“I asked my friends to help me along the way," she said. "The hardest challenge was the half marathon I did in Bath. It was very challenging for me and without my friend I don’t know if I would have finished it.

“I wanted to complete physical challenge because it is really good for my mental health.

“My target was £400 but I have already hit that and I am trying to push it more now and raise even more money.”

Charlie has set up a Facebook page, with pictures and updates of her journey.

She said: “The last one is going to be the full Bournemouth marathon in October and that is going to be the longest run I have ever done before.”

Charlie is the co-founder of the first Men’s Mental Health campaign, which launched in Swindon in May.

She will also be taking part in the last Swindon Half Marathon on September 22.

For further information or to support Charlie visit her Facebook page at Charlie Paradise - 1000km in 400 Days for Heads Together - 2/09/18 to 7/10/19.