Since February Swindon resident Steve Carr has been walking from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money and awareness of mental health and homelessness. On Monday 2 May he arrived home to a rapturous welcome from friends, family and supporter.
Steve, 39, was greeted at The Sun Inn, Coate, by those who have supported and championed him whilst he was walking.
Steve has currently raised £3,250 through gofundme.com/mindcanyon and all the money raised will be donated to mental health and homelessness charities as well as organisations he has met on the walk.
Having been personally affected by mental health issues and homelessness, Steve now wants to use his experiences to raise awareness and encourage positivity in others.
Steve’s life took a tragic turn at the age of 15 when his brother was killed in the Akers Way tragedy in Swindon in 1991. His parents and Steve turned to alcohol and drugs as he came into adult life to mask the pain he was suffering.
He said: “My mother and father divorced shortly after it happened and I was forced out of my family home. I could not hold onto any form of relationship for long periods due to the fear of loss and rejection and as fast as I was gaining friends, jobs and relationships I was losing them.”
During his late twenties Steve was holding down a good job and creating a life for himself but his issues from the past had never been dealt with and Steve ended up becoming a drug addict using cocaine to numb the past. He added: “I thought I was doing well until I found cocaine, or cocaine found me. I became an addict in a very short space of time. After a little under a year of taking cocaine, I lost my house, my job, and my friends. I lost everything, and my habit was costing me £100 a day. I couldn’t stop what I was doing to myself until one day I pushed it too far. I became homeless with just enough money for one more high, the last high.”
Steve contemplated taking his life a further three times before he was diagnosed with mental health problems. After seeking help and counselling, he has finally been able to turn his life around and is dedicated to raising awareness of both mental illness and homelessness.
Steve was asked to speak at Business Rocks 2016 and was on their panel for their Hackathon which was looking at how technology can help reduce homelessness. The event gained global coverage and has put Steve in touch with some very influential people including Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple Computers.
Steve has registered Mindcanyon as a limited company whilst on his long walk and will apply to change it to a community interest company now that he’s back in Swindon. He has built up a team of volunteers to form Mindcanyon and plans on offering them all permanent jobs within the company, with a view to be a one stop online portal for everything to do with homelessness and mental health, connecting people with the necessary organisations all over the country.