Mary, my wife, and I have come to that stage in life when we must recognise that we are knocking on the door of retirement, although the only definition I've found so far of ‘retirement’ is people stop paying you. Hypothetically, therefore (although we have already proved this to be a myth) we have all the time in the world to have an adventure or two before things start dropping off! So, at the beginning of June this year, the pair of us will walk the Wainwright Coast-to-Coast path, which is 192 miles from St Bees in Cumbria, through the Lakes, the Dales and the North York Moors, to Robin Hood's Bay. I believe that there may be at least a number of pubs that have reopened along the way that need our support, so on this occasion we do not intend it to be a race!

I have the privilege of being a Trustee of Changing Tunes, which was founded over 30 years ago to help prisoners and ex-prisoners lead meaningful crime-free lives, using the power of music. This is an expertly led small charity and because of their experience, skill, vision, care and dedication, they have a leading track-record in the UK for arts-based rehabilitation. Their beneficiaries have gone on to become volunteers and ambassadors for Changing Tunes and employees. Other beneficiaries have found pathways into a range of employment, learning and volunteering roles, attributing their progression in large part to their work with Changing Tunes. Many have experienced improved mental health through their engagement with Changing Tunes, an outcome that is especially crucial in the wake of Covid-19, which has had a particularly damaging impact on the charity’s beneficiaries. The impact of Changing Tunes is summed up in the words of one of their beneficiaries, who states that ‘Changing Tunes change lives!'

Mary has had many years as a counsellor and has chosen Mind UK as her charity. If you would like to know more, please visit her page at: James Thorne