Hawes mental health campaigner to take on Christmas Day three peaks challenge

Ryan Iveson and Zen during training for their Christmas Day challenge.

A mental health campaigner is completing one of Yorkshire’s most iconic long-distance walks as part of his recovery from a breakdown.

On Christmas Day, Hawes resident Ryan Iveson will don a Santa suit before scaling the Yorkshire Three Peaks.

Departing at 4am from Horton-in-Ribblesdale, the first ten miles will be completed in darkness, with friends and family monitoring his progress from nearby villages.

Accompanied by his trusty hound, Zen, Ryan aims to raise funds and awareness for Skipton-based children’s charity, The Principle Trust, which provides respite breaks for children who are underprivileged, disadvantaged, disabled, have life-limiting conditions, or who have experienced poverty, trauma or abuse.

While others will be tucking into turkey, Ryan and Zen will stride out on the famous 24-mile yomp, covering 5200 feet of climb as they traverse of summits of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.

The Wensleydale man’s lifelong battle with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) escalated when, aged nine, he lost his father in a tragic accident.

Like many young men, Ryan avoided speaking about his emotions and his later teenage years spiralled out of control, leading to alcohol and drug misuse and, eventually, a complete breakdown.

Crash-landing at rock bottom in 2021, Ryan sought help from a team of mental health professionals. However, his greatest support arrived in the form of Zen, a Rottsky-XL-Bullie pup with legs of steel and the heart of a lion.

A cross between Rottweiler, Siberian Husky and XL Bullmastiff, Zen has played a critical role in Ryan’s ongoing recovery, accompanying him as he re-gains his fitness and wellbeing.

Ryan has fuelled his road to recovery by embarking on a series of uber-extreme fitness challenges, raising funds and much needed awareness for small scale charities which support disadvantaged children and mental health sufferers.

The 31-year-old, who is also a supporter of mental health charities Mind and Mental Health UK, said: “I have several anti-ordinary challenges planned for 2023 and the Yorkshire Three Peaks will give me back some much needed confidence.

“My childhood was blighted by tragedy and sorrow leading to debilitating mental health problems, so the decision to walk on behalf of The Principle Trust – a charity which supports children with childhoods similar to my own – was a no brainer.”

Founder of The Principle Trust, Mike Davie MBE, said“Ryan is an inspiration to anyone struggling with mental health problems.

“Thanks to supporters like Ryan, we’ve helped thousands of disadvantaged, disabled and poorly children to escape their everyday troubles and create valuable, happy memories.’

For more information about The Principle Trust visit www.theprincipletrust.co.uk

To follow Ryan’s progress or make a donation visit www.localgiving.org and search Ryan’s Xmas Day Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.