A FATHER-of-two from Cam will be running his first ever marathon next month in aid of a charity which is close to his heart.

Depression and family tragedy have affected Matt Newman and his immediate family, inspiring him to raise money for a charity helping people in similar situations.

Matt, 34, was bullied during his time in secondary school resulting in him developing mental health problems and, last year, his fiancée was left “in a really dark place” after the sudden death of her sister.

In response, Matt entered the ballot for a place to run at this year’s London Marathon in aid of mental health charity Mind and was successful.

“This charity has always been very close to my heart,” he said. “As from a young age I myself struggled with depression, feeling that I did not belong, thinking that the world would be better if I wasn’t around. 

“I was lucky enough to have a group of people that pulled me round making me feel that I did belong, that it was ok to be different and to believe in myself, some people are not so lucky.”

Matt grew up in Eastleigh and suffered with depression as a result of being bullied during his time at secondary school.

He credits his recovery to joining an American-style marching band called The Senators.

“People there supported and befriended me and made me feel like I finally belonged somewhere and gave me the confidence and the belief that it was ok to be different.”

Matt met his fiancée Ana in 2011 while working in Cheltenham before moving to Cam in 2015, taking up a job at Tesco.

Last year, aged just 34, Ana’s sister died after a battle with both substance abuse and mental health issues.

“I need something good and positive to come out of the awful tragedy that we faced last year and to support the great work that Mind does," Matt added.

To donate, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MattNewman83