A FATHER-of-two who has pledged to run every day for a year is striving to raise £1,000 for the Ablett Unit at Glan Clwyd Hospital.

Stephen Tomlinson, of Rhyl, has been documenting his challenge on Facebook and YouTube.

The 25-year-old, who works as a personal trainer and gym instructor at The White Spa in Rhuallt, was inspired to raise money for the unit as he wanted to ‘give back’ to the organisations that are helping people get through their struggles during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Stephen, who has partner Georgia, has previously suffered with depression and anxiety.

The former Ysgol Emmanuel and Rhyl High School pupil has completely changed his life around and spends a lot of his free time making motivational content online to help individuals cope with struggles.

Stephen said: “Running everyday has been hard challenge.

"I started as an asthmatic with no running experience. Having to find my perfect pace and running asthmatic posture was difficult but the main challenge for me was mentally.

"I have been on some hard runs. I have ran through every weather condition, my toughest being through Storm Dennis.

"I am very shocked how far I have come with the running and my mental health and physical health has improvement massively."

Rhyl Journal:

Stephen Tomlinson is running 365 days for mental health in Rhyl

Stephen has split his runs into: Red Day, 30 minutes plus; Amber Day, 15 to 20 minutes and Green Day, 10 minutes.

"I go by how I feel on that day and listen to my body," Stephen added.

"If I feel great I will do a Red Day, if I am very sore and stiff I will do a Green Day."

Talking about the importance of the challenge, Stephen reflected on his background.

"Since turning 18, I found I was really struggling with becoming an adult," he said.

"I was on benefits and not in education, I had no dreams or any goals in mind, I was sofa surfing and living at friends houses and also relying drinking alcohol and taking drugs to mask my problems. I was not in a good place in my life and my mental health was at a low point, I felt completely lost.

"I got to a really down point where I couldn't cope anymore and one day I was having suicidal thoughts. That was the lowest day of my life.

"Ever since that day I made a commitment to myself that I would change and become a better version of myself.

"I got myself back into college, I found a job and within two years I worked my way up to a management position.

"I passed my driving test, I got a passport and went abroad for the first time by myself and I also found my passion within the health and fitness industry and I am now a qualified personal trainer and also training as a sports massage therapist.

"I have two beautiful children and have a job I love and that I'm passionate about.

"The importance to this challenge is that it makes me realise how far I have come since the lowest part of my life," he added.

"When I am running, I reflect on the past seven to eight years. It proves to myself that the only person that can change my life is me.

"The reason I document and raise awareness is because I want to spread that message into other peoples lives that are struggling like I once was."

Stephen thanked his supporters who have helped him throughout the challenge.

"I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has sent me kind messages during this challenge, telling me to keep going and that I am doing great," he said.

"I'd like to say to my girlfriend, and two beautiful children who motivate me to become better, I also do this for you.

"Through every hard run and moment in my life, you are in in my mind and get me through everything."

Stephen is set to finish his challenge on August 16.

Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/365daysofrunning to donate.