A man who has suffered mental health issues throughout his life is taking on the mammoth task of a 57-mile ultramarathon to raise money for others in need.

Ben White, from Brockley, went through what he describes as a “difficult patch” in 2021 when he and his partner of six years split up.

This led to them losing their first house together, all while Ben was furloughed from work.

He said: “I lost my sense of direction in life at that point, going from having what I thought was everything, to nothing in the blink of an eye.

“I'm very grateful to have had comfort in my life mostly throughout, but unfortunately you can never truly prepare yourself for those uncomfortable moments.”

The 28-year-old medical secretary was bullied throughout his childhood as well, leading him to feel that his feelings of “loss and loneliness” have led to the stages in his life of poor mental health.

Therefore, he wants to run the ultramarathon to find a “comfort that cannot be moved” in himself, as no one can take away the success of this kind of endeavour.

The charity he’s chosen as a result is MQ Mental Health Research, a charity that works to fund mental health research with the goal of achieving better treatments for, understanding of and prevention of mental health difficulties.

He will run the marathon in October 2024 from Glasgow to Edinburgh as part of an organised event.

When he first signed up for it, Ben initially found the thought of undertaking an ultramarathon quite “daunting”.

He said: “But then I thought about everything I've been through in life up to this point, those hours, days and months, where I was sat in darkness, having lost all what I thought was important to me in those times.

“Everything that stimulated me, had gone.

“But looking back, I realise the things that stimulated me,  were things I relied on and the one thing I didn't rely on in those times was myself.

“Everything I have been through has built the foundations for me to survive.

“It was my mindset that took away my ability to put one foot in front of the other, and it will be my mindset that pulls me across the finish line of the ultramarathon.

“I'm excited to show myself the new possibilities. 

To prepare for the ultramarathon, Ben has been training consistently.

He has also been working on maintaining a healthy diet to keep his strength up and give him a sense of will power prior to the run.

For anyone out there struggling, Ben added: “I just want to say to anyone struggling, you've got this, you always have had.

“You'll get through this and when you do, others will follow, inspired by you.”