Dinnington man warns of dangers of gambling as he prepares to run half marathon for mental health support charity
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He is hoping to use the run on Sunday March 27 to raise money for a men’s mental health support organisation, Andy’s Man Club.
Arran, aged 29, said: “Men’s mental health is a big issue that is not talked about.
"I have been in trouble myself with some dark times through gambling, and I had a lot of help along the way. I was lucky, in that I had a lot of help from my family, and it is not talked about enough. If I can help someone, that is all I want.
He said he had been through counselling and once tried to kill himself because of his gambling problem and the debts he was building up as a result.
"I feel that gambling is the Devil’s game. From school to university I got into a lot of debt. Then I started to drink and found myself on a downward spiral.
"Now I use running to clear my head. I tell people about what I went through and it helps people.
"They’ve changed the laws now, but there was a time I could put £1,000 in a gambling machine.
“I got into thousands of pounds of debt. It sends people crazy and off the edge. You gamble in secret. At one point I was living with my parents and going into the toilet to gamble online. I’d be going off and being secretive about it, in bedrooms or the car.
"Most of my debt is paid off now. I also have a little boy who inspires me. I can afford the repayments now and I’m settled.
"I used to get a buzz through gambling. Now I get that through work and running.”
“I am running for a cause that I feel really strongly about.”
Arran now has a job working for a crisis team which helps vulnerable young people, with a variety of complex needs.
He said mental health was a topic very close to his heart.
He added: “Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to have the help and support from my family and friends who have always been there for me when things got tough.
"The sad reality is that not everyone has this level of support on their doorstep and have to face these struggles on their own.
"Andy’s Man Club is an amazing charity who offers that support and feeling of belonging for men struggling with their mental health and the burdens of life.
“I have found that running has helped me to defeat a lot of my demons and helped me win battles in my head that I’ve struggled with over the years. I therefore think that this would be a great way to challenge myself and raise money for a great cause to help others.”
Log onto https://www.gofundme.com/f/arrans-13-miles-of-pain to sponsor him.