Damien enjoying some creativityRunningSpace isn’t about Running.

Well, it’s not only about Running, because if it were only about running we’d all be screwed. What happens when we are unable to run, as will inevitably happen to all of us from time to time, and for some of us, we might never be able to run again.

Running is awesome, it’s one of the most accessible forms of exercise, and everyone know how good exercise is for our mental and physical health. It’s well known that it beats antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression, and all you need is a comfortable pair of shoes and weather appropriate clothing.

Dancing is also awesome. A friend of mine, bereaved by suicide recently said that when she puts music on and dances in her kitchen, it’s the only time she doesn’t think about her loss and heartache. Dancing is practiced at the highest level and in many forms, yet it’s accessible to all and can be freely enjoyed whatever your age or skill.

Arts and crafts, there’s another one. My man and his mate spent a weekend making small wooden boats together, no prior experience needed. Hours of man fun and conversation. He (my man) is also an accomplished painter, he’s sold a few and loves to experiment with anything from postcard art to the garden fence.

How about gardening and growing your own veg, the pastime that gained so many new followers during the first lockdown? The sales of compost, plants and seeds increased by around 50% as compared to the same period in 2019. Whether you grow indoors, in a window box, or you have several acres to play with, gardening is therapeutic.

I’m sure you can think of many more activities that do us good, that benefit our mental, social and physical wellbeing. If for any reason you find yourself unable (or unwilling) to run, try something else.

But stick with RunningSpace because we’re about so much more.

We will not beat suicide using these human/humanitarian social community activities. Matthew Parris, a British journalist, wrote in the London Times, “As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God…” I started RunningSpace because I truly believe that people struggling with thoughts of suicide need Jesus. Running, despite all of its benefits, is just the conduit for the greater answer.

Listen up guys, we’ve seen nothing yet. 81 people die by suicide each year in East Sussex and one of our goals in the next couple of years will be to see that number come down. But we’re about more than simply staying alive. We’re looking for life lived in all its fullness. The bible verse I cling to is Psalm 56 v 12 and 13, from The Message version.

“God, you did everything you promised, and I’m thanking you with all my heart. You pulled me from the brink of death, my feet from the cliff-edge of doom. Now I stroll at leisure with God in the sunlit fields of life”

We need all the amazing suicide prevention organisations and projects that do such incredible work, but they alone will not do. It’s not enough to just be pulled from the brink of death. How much more wonderful it is to daily stroll at leisure in the sunlit fields of life.

No running required.

Come along with us, it might just change your life…