What a great achievement and fundraising effort from Laura Best!. Laura accomplished the challenge and raised over £1090 on the 12th December, accompanied throughout every step by her husband Jamie. Laura and Jamie are both active members of the British Army and a number of their fellow soldiers joined the challenge during the day. We are incredibly grateful to Laura, Jamie and to everyone who participated.

Laura wrote in her JustGiving page: I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression (PND) 11 months after the birth of my 2nd child, Charlie. Just one month after starting in DRS BCT. Being a proud person, I really struggled to even make the phone call to the Healthcare Professional (which was about 6 months too late). Even after the diagnosis when the doctor suggested I should go down the route of anti-depressants, I saw this as a failure and it’s something I should be able to fight by myself. After 2 months of zero improvement, possibly even getting worse, I decided to give the anti-depressants (fluoxetine) a try. This worked alongside Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The mixture of both of these soon began to make a massive difference to my life. I felt a lot like Laura and a person again. It had an even bigger effect on my relationships. I believe it saved my marriage, helped remind me how important it is to be present at home and cherish the time with my family.

During the last 11 months I have been under RRU for a back injury followed by physio and ERI appointments, women’s health appointments, CBT, monthly medical appointments, bladder specialist consultations, had a breast cancer scare, plus juggling childcare and sicknesses with a serving husband, attempting to regain my fitness. All this before I even got in the office to try and complete my job. Over this time I still managed to put even more pressure on myself to perform at work. I have explained to numerous people over this period that I have been spread too thin and cannot achieve 100% in any 1 area I covered. I was lucky if I stayed afloat and complete 70% of all my responsibilities. This again was a major knock to my confidence as it’s not the output I’m used to delivering but there just wasn’t/isn’t enough time on the day. Having weaned off the tablets mid-Oct, this has probably been the hardest part of this journey. My emotions and health have been all over the place, my physical injury may have been resolved but there is still a lot of work to do with my mental fitness and understanding and prioritising what’s really important in life. I even broke down crying mid workout at Southern Quarter, then continued to cry for about an hour and looked like a right tool……all for no reason at all!!!

I decided to watch Children in Need that evening and cry even more. Great day!!! Please can I ask you consider donating for all those women that might be suffering in silence or that have had the hard conversation to a health professional to get the help they require. Also please think about those members in your current teams (male or female) that could be affected by any mental health issues. Let’s try to be kind to ourselves and those around us. We’re all just numbers to the company we work for but to Jamie I’ll hopefully be his only wife 🤪. To Oliver and Charlie I’m the only mum they’ll ever have. To my parents I’m their only daughter they’ll have.