People Doing Incredible Things Under The Greatest Odds

Mental Health Awareness 2019

No time to waste, let’s get stuck in:

The Matt Hampson Foundation: Get Busy Living Centre

Matt Hampson is a leader when it comes to supporting and inspiring those in need of mind and body support. Matt’s a former English rugby union prop who became a C4/5 tetraplegic during game practice for England under 21s in 2005. Tetraplegic means losing the partial or total loss of use of all four limbs and torso.

His motto “Get Busy Living” can be seen in everything he has done so far since his accident.

Matt set up his charity foundation: The Matt Hampson Foundation which raises funds for those who have suffered a serious life-changing injury through sport. Severe injury through sport is much more common than you think and some injured players are left without options, on their own and disregarded by their clubs and unions. His Get Busy Living Centre is in an astounding converted barn in Leicestershire (check it out here) which offers tailored advice and physical and mental support to those affected by life-changing injuries. Matt’s mission is to make it a centre for empowerment:

“’We empower people so their wheelchair does not define them” – Matt Hampson

The Get Busy Living Centre for rehabilitation set up by Matt Hampson near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. It's in a converted barn and supports those with life-changing physical injuries from sport.
The Get Busy Living Centre for rehabilitation set up by Matt Hampson near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

Matt’s foundation is different. Rather than filling out tonnes of forms to justify why you need help and being added to a waiting list, Matt’s Get Busy Living Centre is making the path to support smoother, stress-free and accessible.

His motivational talks, summer balls, fundraisers and incredible ambassadors such as (are you ready for this…) rugby players, athletes, chefs, sport-stars and TV personalities: Jim Hamilton, Dan Cole, Andy Goode, Manu Tuilagi, Tom Croft, Stuart Broad, Tom Youngs, Sam Ruddock, Gabby Logan, James Haskell, Dylan Hartley and sooo many more, are all an accolade to the intense grafting that goes on behind the scenes by Matt, his team and support network.

With fundraising going on all year round from the likes of Julian Evans of Leicestershire, who summited one of the world’s most isolated mountains – Mount Denali in Alaska and raised £60,000, (impressive is an understatement) Matt’s Foundation is thriving.

We’re excited to find out what the Hambo Foundation holds for the years ahead.

James’ Place Foundation

James’ Place was formed by Clare Milford Haven and Nick Wentworth-Stanley after they lost their 21 year old son, James, to suicide. James went looking for the help he needed when he couldn’t cope with the worry he experienced after an operation, but he couldn’t find this help in time.

They set up James’ Place in Liverpool, a place where men can go when they’re in need of help and are at the point of emotional crisis. With its warming and calming interior and its open and retreating garden, James’ Place offers a safe sanctuary and a ray of light in a very dark place. A place of calm and understanding in a noisy, hectic world.

With suicide being the biggest killer of young men and teenage girls worldwide, centres like James’ Place are crucial to supporting those who need help and support right now.

Combat Stress

In their 100th year, Combat Stress are the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health. Ex-service men and women can find an array of much-needed support with post-traumatic disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression to help them with a better future.

PTSD can affect ex and current service personnel and some of the most common signs of PTSD are:

  • Intense feelings of distress when reminded of a tragic event
  • Invasive, upsetting memories of a tragedy
  • Flashbacks (feeling like the trauma is happening again)
  • Nightmares of either frightening things or of the event
  • Loss of interest in life and daily activities
  • Feeling emotionally numb and detached from other people.

With more than 17 signs of PTSD to look out for, the work that Combat Stress do for veterans is life-changing.

Their raw and eye-opening PTSD campaign “Bring them home, all the way home” shows how 100 years on, their help is needed as much now as in 1919. Helping around 4,000 veterans a year with their helpline, treatment centres and peer support systems, makes Combat Stress an inspirational mental health charity.

There are so many committed charities and foundations in the UK, US and worldwide supporting mental health all year round. All are working exceptionally hard in the background, creating a pillar of support for those who need it a little or a lot and it’s these people who are doing incredible things under the greatest odds which keep mental and physical health awareness alive all year round.

So how can you help support these and other charities in 2019?

  1. Offer your services for free. Maybe you’re a web designer, copywriter or a PR pro; donate your time to build their brand.
  2. Give your time fundraising, supporting events and volunteering.
  3. Raise awareness of the charities, especially the smaller charities making HUGE impact.

How does Peak – Brain Training fit into the Mental Health Awareness mission? Peak – Brain Training works with neuroscientists from universities such as Cambridge University and New York University to create games which are science-backed and proven to help with mental health. Working with Dr. Oliver Robinson of University College London allowed us to  develop a game called Handling Emotion that aims to help people to focus on positive stimuli. It is based on a concept called attentional bias modification which describes the power behind actively looking for something positive. Our user findings and data are fed back to neuroscience researchers to help with brain development research.


Maisie Bygraves

3 thoughts on “People Doing Incredible Things Under The Greatest Odds

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