Donna Gibbs has been incredible in raising awareness for mental health and she did this by running the London Marathon 2017 for Teams Heads Together and Best Beginnings.

"The London Marathon has been on my bucket list for years. Every year I have massive admiration for, and am hugely inspired by those that take on the challenge, and pound the streets of London!

My amazing mum, tragically died nearly 10 years ago, and I always said I would run the marathon of her home city, and dedicate the run to her. During her lifetime, my mum suffered from significant mental health issues. My mum never spoke about it as she was too ashamed. I, in turn have also suffered my own mental health problems. The Heads Together campaign and the work of Best Beginnings just ‘made sense’ as the most fitting charity to run for, in dedication of my mum.

I am a big believer in the power of exercise, there is the obvious impact on physical well-being, but the less obvious yet huge contributor to mental well-being is so important. For me, the partnership between the London Marathon and Heads Together sent a very powerful message around the positive impact of exercise on mental well-being.

In life, we often focus on our physical health and well-being and we should give our mental health and well-being equal attention. To thrive in life, we need both to be in the best shape they can be. The Heads Together campaign has been incredible for showing that we should not be afraid to pay attention to our mental well-being, it is #oktosay, and we should not be afraid to seek help and talk when we are facing ill mental health. I believe in this from the bottom of my heart!

The incredible work Best Beginnings is delivering resonated hugely with me; supporting mums and dads on their journey into parenthood and ensuring there is a lasting positive impact on the mental well-being of their children is critical.

Marathon Day was simply: The. Best. Day. Ever. It was incredible from the moment I woke up, to the moment I finally went to sleep. I have barely taken my medal off since! The positivity of the human race, during such an incredible spectacle was mind blowing. I almost am unable to put into words what a special day it was.

I feel absolutely privileged to have been part of this whole journey and really proud of myself to have completed such a challenge, to have raised money for an incredible cause which will change children’s and families lives for the better; and to have been part of a tidal wave of change around mental health. I could not have done it without the incredible support of my friends, family, Team Best Beginnings and Team Heads Together."