Tom and Willow gear up for the ultimate charity walk

Reporter: Simon Smedley
Date published: 28 July 2020


Warm-hearted and super-fit Tom McHugh is preparing hard for one of the toughest tasks of his life - walking the 100 miles from his home in Oldham to the Snowdonia peak!

With his beloved dog Willow by his side, Tom is doing the walk - on Wednesday, November 25 - in aid of a mental health charity for kids called YoungMinds that is very close to his heart.

Tom explained: "I'm mental and I don't care.

"I'm hoping I will complete the walk in under four days with my bestie Willow Ice.

"She's a working dog known for long distance walking in Alaska, but she is also my life saver and helped me out of some dark places.

"I suffered mental health problems from a early age after losing my mum at age 12 and then my nan at the age of 15.

"The worse thing I did was bottle things up until I exploded at the age of 33 where I had to open 22 years of hurt to my family.

Tom's beautiful dog Willow

"I've seen friends ripped apart with mental health and I've also seen kids and know kids that have ended up in hospital, and worse.

"It breaks my heart to see and hear it.

"I believe if we can give the kids the best help and get them to understand that it's okay to cry and talk about their feelings more, they will have a better chance in life.

"We will never get rid of any social media, but we can start to reduce the mental health effects that kids are suffering with and give them a better understanding of life instead of putting so much pressure on them from a young age."

Tom and Willow are hoping to raise £1,000 for YoungMinds.

You can get behind his walk by donating to his Virgin Money Giving page here


Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing news@oldham-chronicle.co.uk , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.


While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Oldham Chronicle and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Oldham Chronicle offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer, please consider supporting us financially and help Oldham Chronicle to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Oldham Chronicle