TO raise money and awareness for mental health charities, a man is running the entire South West Coast Path in memory of a friend that took their own life.

Gary Head, 43, is more than halfway through his 'Miles for Minds' challenge. He is running the entire 1,013km distance of the South West Coast Path to raise money for Mind, the mental health charity.

For every kilometre of his journey Gary aims to raise £3, that's one pound for each of the local Minds in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.

In January 2018 one of Gary's good friends, John Paul Childs, took his own life. This motivated Gary to raise funds and awareness for Mind.

"Mental health issues have added meaning to me personally," said Gary, "because my own mother has lived with schizophrenia for most of her life so I have a personal passion to raise funds for charities dedicated to improving people's mental health.

"I've been doing roughly 15 miles a day and some days it's more than 20 miles. It's been a long old time.

"My legs feel alright at the moment but it's more to do with the head if I'm honest. At the moment I'm just getting on with it which is good.

"I've been staying at friends houses along the way and cousins and some people are even crazy enough to run along with me on some days. I'm running for three or four hours a day so to have some company makes all the difference.

"I didn't realise how tough it was going to be. After the first three or four days I started thinking 'how I was going to be able to do this?' but I am getting used to running every day now.

"The hardest part so far was when I got to Land's End. In your head you're almost thinking that's the end but actually it was only halfway."

Gary is due to arrive in Dorset on June 16 as he runs from Budleigh Salterton to Lyme Regis.

From there he will make his way Bridport and Abbotsbury to Weymouth, before doing a lap of Portland on June 20.

His is due to finish in Poole, his hometown, on June 22.

Visit his fundraising page here: