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A Northampton man has begun a four-year-long trek with his dog across the entire coastline of the UK to raise money for a national mental health charity.
Martyn Brett, 38, from Great Billing, is walking around 20,000 miles in total to raise money for Mind UK – a charity that helped him through a difficult time in his life through the provision of therapy sessions.
He will be completing the journey with his two-year-old Alaskan malamute and best friend, Rocket.
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Martyn, 38, with his dog, Rocket.
Martyn said: “Due to circumstances within my life, I took a very sudden and steep dive into a place that no one should ever be in. Luckily for me, I had my family and friends who helped me to see that I needed help, as much as I didn’t want to. I hated the idea of not being able to deal with this myself.
“But then, through therapy sessions – thanks to Mind – I started to see that speaking up and seeking help was the only way to deal with it. It is safe to say, I would not be here now if it was not for my family and friends and the help from Mind.”
Martyn and Rocket started their travels on Tuesday, January 11 in the town of Folkestone and are currently headed along the South Coast with nothing but the equipment on Martyn’s back, a tent and their excitement for the adventure to come.
As of Monday (January 24), the duo have covered just over 130 miles, amounting to approximately 312,605 steps. They left Brighton on Sunday (January 23) and are now headed towards the town of Bognor Regis in West Sussex.
Martyn and Rocket started their 20,000 mile journey in the town of Folkestone.
They will walk the entire coastline of the UK, including Northern Ireland, Scotland and the surrounding islands, until eventually concluding their journey back to Folkestone in what Martyn predicts will be around four years time.
Talking about what inspired him to take on this extreme challenge, Martyn said: “A friend of mine has been doing it for a few years; he inspired me and has given me some great advice.
“This is a journey that covers a lot of aspects, obviously raising money and awareness for mind and mental health, but it is also a time for me to 100 percent find myself again, get back to basics.
“I have already met some amazing people and they have restored my faith in humanity.
Rocket enjoys the views as she heads along the south coast with Martyn.
“Social media can be an amazing thing but most of the time, in my experience, it is used for the wrong things and the wrong way. If I can help one person, then I am happy.”
Martyn pitches a tent every night for himself and Rocket and they make use of the supplies they can carry. They will mostly be depending on the kindness of strangers for food, encouragement, support and occasionally, shelter. They will take rest days now and again to ensure they do not burn themselves out.
Martyn, talking about how Rocket is enjoying her unusually prolonged walkies, said: “She is loving it. I can’t think of anyone better to do this walk with. She is my best friend.
“Rocket will be three on March 3. She is an Alaskan malamute so is very good at pulling me up the hills, but also really bad for pulling me down them.”
Rocket is ready for bed after a day of walking along the UK coastline.
Their JustGiving page has raised £376 out of their £100,000 target so far.