A team of West Devon health and social care staff have been running round Burrator Reservoir in aid of their patients and a mental health charity.

When ex-Plymouth Argyle physiotherapist Paul Maxwell turned 50 in July last year, he decided to set himself a challenge – not only for his body, but his mind too. He promised to run a half marathon, every week this year.

Paul hopes it raises awareness about improving mental health and raises money to improve facilities for patients and staff at Livewell Southwest (which provides integrated health and social care) and Devon Mind. His goal was to raise £2,000 but he has since smashed that target.

Paul said: “It started on my own and it has developed to a good group of 20 people. We have currently raised around £8,500 so hopefully we are going to try and target £10,000.

Paul Maxwell and Livewell Southwest running team at Burrator.
Paul Maxwell and the Livewell Southwest running team at Burrator (Livewell Southwest)

“We are using the title ‘change the tape’, trying to change the thought process of your mind. Step into the unknown. Keep challenging yourself every day and genuinely be kind and be a good person.”

Livewell Southwest’s chief operating officer Ian Lightley joined him for run number 39 – a very windy and rainy 13 miles around Burrator on Dartmoor.

Ian said: “It is the first time I have run this far. I really enjoyed it. It was great to talk to everyone along the way. They all have a personal story to tell about how mental health has affected their lives in some way. Paul has been quite open about his own journey. I think it is helping him, but also it is helping a lot of other people along the way as well.”

Paul is inviting anyone to join him on the remaining runs. “You don’t have to run a half marathon. You can run 5k, 10k, whatever you want. Just come and join us. Be part of the group of amazing people doing amazing things, raising vast amounts of money for two amazing organisations.”

You can keep up to date with Paul’s journey here Crowdfunding to Devon Mind & Livewell Southwest on JustGiving