Mark McDonald

My life changed forever when I lost two of my children it also changed me completely.

Then one social media post changed my life for the better – I couldn’t tell you how or when I found StrongMen online because I honestly don’t know, I was in a very dark place. All I remember is getting the email saying I’d been selected to for the charity’s first weekender in 2019.

I was at my lowest point with no where to turn, I didn’t know how to talk about my feelings and was starting to lose control. I really didn’t like meeting new people and hated every minute of driving to Snowdon to meet 14 strangers.

All I can say is it was the biggest turning point and really opened my eyes. I’d found people who were going through similar things to myself, I’d found people I was comfortable with even talking about feelings with.

Over the next 12/18 months I learned how to talk openly about my feelings and grew in confidence, I’d found friends I will cherish for the rest of my days and had found out how to use exercise to get my anger under control.

Taking advice from Dan, Efrem and other members of StrongMen has really changed me for the better and really has stopped me from going to a really dark place. Later on in 2019 my fitness was going well so I started training for half marathons and later a full marathon to try and do some fundraising to fund for more places on the charities weekenders.

I'm still fundraising to this day and love it!

Dan and Efrem then told us about setting up MAN2MAN and what a peer supporter entail’s. I was fascinated and horrified at the same time, as speaking to strangers makes me feel sick!!! They then asked if any of us would like to become a supporter…..I couldn’t help but think it was my opportunity to give back even if I just helped one person. So I signed up completed my training and I love it!! It’s unbelievably challenging, sometimes mentally draining but at the same time talking about my experiences really helps me and knowing I’m helping someone gives me a real sense of achievement.

In my opinion I will always be in debt to Dan and Efrem, they have really changed my life. That is why I will always be involved with StrongMen in any way I can whether it’s fundraising, MAN2MAN or volunteer for the weekenders.

When I was asked to be a trustee I couldn’t of been any prouder and I promise I will always give 110%.

This charity is so close to my heart and I really love how it is developing and constantly seeing how it’s helping so many men in some terrible situations.

Mark McDonald

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