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Instead, Mick intends to concentrate on channeling some of the money he’s raised with his latest Giving Back Tour into setting up projects for young people in and around Liverpool.
He was given a hero’s welcome when he arrived back on home ground, crossing the finishing line outside the Museum of Liverpool cheered on by crowds of supporters to complete his 2,500-mile marathon stomp across the UK and Ireland.
Mick was able to celebrate his 57th birthday knowing that five months of walking in his Speedos through snow, rain, freezing temperatures and even a couple of huge storms had brought in more than £200,000 for his Speedo Mick Foundation.
He set up the foundation to help and make a positive impact on the lives of disadvantaged young people and the homeless, especially those struggling with their mental health.
Now he plans to take at least a year off from his fundraising walks to put the money into action.
“In 2022 I’m really looking forward to moving forward with the Speedo Mick Foundation,” he explains. “Up until now we’ve been giving grants out to the charities that need support because the pandemic has meant they’ve been unable to fundraise, but in this next year I’m going to set up a couple of projects myself through the foundation so that will be really great.
“It will be a chance for me to get to see first-hand people’s lives changing and the light coming back into them, and I can’t wait for that.
“There’ll be no more walks in 2022, my knickers are getting put away for at least the year, I’m just going to do charity work through the foundation, mostly around improving mental health for young people.
“I’m going to start things off in Liverpool of course, because obviously it’s my home town, and then we’ll see where we can branch out to other parts of the country hopefully.”
Mick has been very open about his own struggles with mental health, and with addictions in the past.
Even during the Giving Back Tour he admitted he was careful to take time out for himself when he felt like it was needed.
“You’ve got to look after yourself, and take a day off when you need to, that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned through doing these walks,” he adds.
“I’ve always found that hard, and I still do today sometimes. Someone’s really got to say to me ‘take a day off’ because otherwise I’d just push on and push on – so I’m still learning to give myself that break that we all need.
“This last walk was different to the previous one because I learned so much, with the last one I just pushed myself so hard, so this time I knew not to do that even though I was always trying to get home as fast as I could to be with my family.”
When he crossed the finish line for his latest walk, Mick stressed how important it was to highlight those issues. “That feeling is always there with me so I stay grateful for my life.
“I just love my life, I’m living my best life now.”
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