A kind-hearted runner called Douglas whose basic instinct is to help children’s charity

Mental health worker Mike Douglas completed his first ever running event at the London Landmarks Half Marathon this weekend on behalf of Variety, the Children’s Charity.

Mike, 27, who is from Elephant & Castle, is a Youth Intensive Psychological Practitioner who works with teenagers aged 13-17,  in the highest tier in children’s mental health.

He provides help with any mental health issues, from psychosis, to anxiety, depression and OCD. He works in the community as a vital alternative to hospital admissions.

Mike was inspired to take on the half marathon when he attended the London Marathon as a spectator last year.

He said: “Running was something I just used to hate. I would always put it off and I wasn’t very good at it. And then when we were at the marathon, the energy and the vibes were just so uplifting and it was so positive.

“Seeing everyone running for different reasons, and all the support that was there, made a really warm atmosphere. I thought: ‘You know, I could see me doing this’.

Despite having to take three weeks out of training due to illness, Mike persisted and completed the half marathon on Sunday with friends, family, and the Variety team cheering him on from the sidelines.

The charity, which is celebrating it’s 75th anniversary in the UK this year, provides practical help to disabled and disadvantaged children.

They supply grants for specialist equipment and wheelchairs, fully accessible transport to schools in the form of their famous Sunshine Coaches, experiences on their Variety Great Days Out, and work placements on their new Access Interns programme.

Mike said: “I’ve worked with quite a few young people now during my time with the NHS who are going through things like poverty, so this was a way for me to give back in a way that I had previously been unable to.

“I’ve been able to support from a mental health side, but there are other practical things that I wish I would have done outside the realm of my job to support kids who are going through things like that. So when I saw Variety, I thought raising money for that charity was the best option to help me achieve my goal of helping those kids.”

To donate to Mike’s JustGiving page, visit

To find out more about Variety, the Children’s Charity, visit

Pictured top: Mike enjoying his run at the weekend (Picture: Variety)

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