A MEMBER of staff at Specsavers in Richmond is putting his best foot forward this month as he races to raise money for CALM, a charity which looks to prevent male suicide.

Ross Campbell, store director, is trading specs for sports as he gears up to take part in the Great North Run, a half-marathon mission which takes place on September 8.

It will be the dad of two’s sixth consecutive year doing the run, raising money for CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably – since 2018 and Cancer Research UK in the years before.

Mr Campbell wanted to support CALM after witnessing several of his friends suffer from mental health issues and failing to seek help.

He said: "I’m raising money for a cause which is close to my heart. Sometimes something which might seem simple in the grand scheme of things can end up really wearing someone down if they don’t speak out or seek help. CALM has a helpline, a webchat function and various other support services for men who hit crisis point."

"It’s so important to raise awareness of the services that are out there and make mental health something that people and particularly men feel comfortable opening up about."

Mr Campbell has adopted a strict training regime in preparation for the 13 mile run, exercising five times a week and trying to avoid injury.

His Specsavers colleagues have been quick to show their support, collecting donations in store from patients who would like to contribute for non-chargeable repairs and gathering goodwill donations.

He added: ‘I’m excited to be taking part in the Great North Run and have been training vigorously in preparation for it.

"I would like to thank everyone for their very kind donations so far including my friends and family and the customers and colleagues from Specsavers in Richmond who have been generously supporting me.’

Specsavers in Richmond is encouraging people to visit the store and donate to the cause.

People can also donate online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rosscampbell2019.