Dean is the Step by Step Talent Coach for Waverley and works with young people aged 11-18, to help them to uncover their talents and aspirations and work towards their goals.

Dean committed to undertaking a year of physical challenges to improve his health and well-being while raising funds to support Step by Step's work with young people. He has set a fundraising target of £3000 to host a residential trip and various activities / challenges for the young people, to help them get away, overcome challenges, and build teamwork skills, etc.

"After some 'not so nice' news from my doctor, and being quite scared by it, I decided to change. Over the course of December, I looked at ways to motivate myself. A few friends mentioned that they might do a sponsored diet and raise funds for charity and I really liked this idea so I jumped on the bandwagon. However, I knew just dieting and trying to raise cash wouldn't motivate me enough, so I explored the idea of completing challenges to help boost my motivation by knowing if I didn't lose weight or increase my fitness I wouldn't be able to realistically complete the monthly challenges. When I pitched the idea to my partner, they said "what will you do if you didn't meet the challenge for the month?" and that's where I came up with the idea of forfeits.

Running has played a hard part in my journey as I've never liked running, so it's taken me a lot of time to build up my running levels (I'm still trying to build them up) but I've started to really enjoy it. The whole journey has had moments of toughness but I pulled though and cracked on. I have lost nearly three stone since January and my health has greatly improved. Still a way to go though!Having support from friends, family and colleagues has helped me a lot. Everyone has been very encouraging since January 2017 and, of course, the pressure of having to do a forfeit doesn't (does!) help. I didn't complete my challenge one month and the forfeit was to get in an ice bath! That was crazy! So I don't want to be doing things like that again.One my biggest challenges so far was the Fleet Half Marathon in March as I only did about five weeks in training. I completed it in 2:58.

Dean signed up for the Great South Run and aimed for under 2:20. He also undertook the National 3 Peaks in 24 hours.

"I have a fitness bug now and am up for anything, even looking at doing the Macchu Picchu trail next year too."

Dean's fundraising page is here. To follow Dean on his journey here is a link to his Facebook feed.

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