AN OTLEY man has set off on a one-year running trip around the world.

Dan Atkinson has taken up the challenge to raise money for the Young Minds Trust - a charity which works to give young people the best possible mental health support.

The 23 year old began the first phase of his global fundraiser, a 3,000km run from Paris to Istanbul, on September 23. Now 14 days and 554km into his challenge, this week he reached Germany and has already raised £730 towards a £5,000 target.

Writing about the next stage on, where he is posting daily updates, he said: “After 90 days of trekking, running and dragging my feet I’ll be jumping on a flight to New Delhi, India to continue the second stage of my run - with a route which even I’m still unsure about.”

He told the Wharfedale & Aireborough Observer that he also hopes his example will spread a ‘message of positivity’ that encourages people to follow their dreams. He said: “During this journey I will be raising awareness and money for the Young Minds charity who do tremendous work in helping tackle some of the mental health issues young people across the UK face today.

“This is an issue that seems to be only growing and every extra bit of resource they can receive helps them to commit to helping more youngsters and parents who are in need.”

Dan can be supported at where he also opens up about his own mental health battles. He said: “Up until the last year I have been living in a hazy fog of anxiety which has limited me unlocking who I truly want to be.

“This fog has manifested itself through alcohol, social pressures and thoughts of intense loneliness and because of this I have never looked introspectively and asked what I actually want to achieve with my life.

“Through learning techniques on how to examine my own mind and how it processes thoughts, I’ve begun to think with a greater sense of clarity about where I want to go. This has made me much happier and has steered me towards taking a leap of faith out of my comfort zone into doing something wild and adventurous.

“Now I’ve lifted this anxious fog it’s become apparent that it is too easy to continue being comfortable, despite many of us not necessarily doing what we truly want to be doing. My mission is to help people feel safe in following their dreams, whatever that may be.”