Shell Island’s Richie Howle is getting ready to walk 3,000km for a charity close to his heart.
Richie is about to take on the Te Araroa Trail (which translates from Māori to English to The Long Pathway) in New Zealand.
The trail starts at the very top of New Zealand’s North Island in Cape Regina and ends in Bluff which is at the southern most point of the South Island.
“The trail is 3,000km long which is, in comparison, like walking from lands end too John o’ Groats twice with a bit extra,” 27-year-old Richie explained.
“This trail is going to take me approximately 120 days to complete.”
New Zealand is a diverse country featuring dense forests, volcanoes, mountain ranges and beaches, and Richie is looking forward to seeing it all for himself.
He said: “I am not experienced in hiking but recently discovered a passion for it, it’s refreshing and pretty good for your mental health if you’ve kept track of where you are on the map.
“I will be camping and using hostels along the way as I have a modest budget that should get me through – enough for the odd fast food visit.”
Explaining why he wants to raise money for Mind, Richie, who is originally from Stoke-on-Trent but moved to Gwynedd’s Shell Island three years ago, said: “Like many other people I struggle with my mental health so I decided that as this is something that I really wanted to do and it would help my mental health, why not do it and try and help other people that also struggle.
“Like many people suffering mental, having a project is helpful and this has been mine since leaving New Zealand last year.”
He added: “Anyone willing to donate to Mind would be greatly appreciated.
“I’m doing something I’ve always wanted to do and I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for charities like Mind and the services they provide.”
Richie has set up a JustGiving page for people to donate to his cause. Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and secure, and Richie’s page can be found at www.justgiving.com/page/richie-howle-te-araroa-trail
“I also have a Facebook page for people to follow the journey too,” said Richie.
The page is called ‘Richie’s 3,000km Trek for Mind’.
Mind prides itself on making mental health an everyday priority by standing up to injustices that make life harder for those with mental health problems.
The charity offers help through information, advice and local services.
Their Infoline offers confidential help for the price of a local call, and their Legal Line provides information on mental health related law to the public, service users, family members, carers, mental health professionals and mental health advocates. More details are available at mind.org.uk