Two deaf friends to walk length of UK for Mental Health awareness

Mark Hodgson (centre) and Daniel Dorney (right) are walking from John o' Groats to Land's End for charity

Two deaf friends will hike the length of the UK to raise money and awareness for mental health in deaf people.

Mark Hodgson, aged 43 from Arnold and Daniel Dorney, aged 50 from York, will walk from John o’ Groats in North Scotland to Land’s End in South West England: 874 miles! They will camp or stay in hostels during the 7-8 weeks it will take for them to complete the walk.

Mark and Daniel hope that the challenge will increase understanding about mental health in deaf people, as well as raise money for 2 deaf organisations: Sign Health and Deaf4Deaf.

Mark, who has been deaf since birth, highlighted the importance of awareness:

“Imagine living in a country where you can never hope to learn the local language. This leads to tremendous feelings of isolation and separation from even your closest family.

People think if they shout, we will understand, when actually it has the opposite effect; it distorts the mouth making it harder to lip-read. If people spoke clearer and in front and directly to us, it helps with understanding.

We also want to highlight that deaf people need easier access to all kinds of normal everyday things and situations. We just do not have the ability to hear.

By doing the walk, we hope to raise funds for and publicise deaf mental health issues, which is a major problem within the deaf community and very little help is given to assist the special assistance that is needed by a deaf person.

We are very excited about the challenge and we have lots of people joining us along the way and we hope to call in at local deaf clubs wherever we can.

I have travelled extensively including Nepal, most of Europe in my little camper van and last year climbed Kilimanjaro in Africa.”

Mark and Daniel hope to raise £10,000 for the challenge, which will go to charity. They have set up a Just Giving page, and you can donate here.

Independent writer, volunteer and performer from Lancashire, England. May every day be GEP: Good, Exciting and Productive!