Dame Kelly Holmes starts year in style in Tonbridge

1887 The Pantiles
BEAT THE BLUES: Dame Kelly Holmes (centre) and Hannah Beecham with RED friends at The 1809 Hub

The mental health charity supports the community initiative that encourages you to support your wellbeing by doing something active every day for a month.

RED January offers a focus for what can be a tough month psychologically, empowering people to start the year in positive fashion.

The colour red was chosen because of its empowering character – the movement looks to ‘turn blue days to red’.

Last year the campaign raised more than -£1million nationwide in order to help Mind provide its vital services.

Founded in 2015 by Hannah Beecham, there is now a 65,000-strong RED community nationwide who have benefitted from the charity’s information and resources.

Dame Kelly’s free event, called The Holmes Straight, was held at her Hildenborough venue, formerly Cafe 1809, on January 26 to celebrate the efforts of those who took part.

The double Olympic champion was on hand to welcome guests, leading the group in a ten-minute core workout. As a reward for their efforts, there was also cake.

Dame Kelly, who has documented her struggles with depression and self-harm in the past, is a vocal supporter of Mind and has decided to focus her energies on raising awareness of mental health issues.

Last month she published her latest book, Running Life, which describes the benefits of combining mindset, fitness and nutrition – the ‘big three’, as the former athlete calls them.

“Amazing to meet REDers today,” said Dame Kelly. “A lovely group of people all being the best version of themselves. My dad Mick even made an appearance.

“Thank you to all that came and supported the event. RED January was set up by the lovely lady Hannah Beecham and it was so nice to host this event for her so she can see and hear from people about its success.”

She has been sharing her daily workouts on social media, and managed to start Mick off with gentle walking on the treadmill.

Dame Kelly added: “I’ve loved taking part in RED January again this year, and seeing all the REDers getting active on social media has given me the motivation I needed to get up and get moving each day.

“This final week can be tough, so I wanted to bring the community together to share their stories so they know they’re not alone in this.

“It’s also a great opportunity to support RED January’s charity partner, Mind, with any donations from the event going towards their work with people experiencing mental health problems and those who need support in caring for loved ones.”

Hannah Beecham said: “We are so proud to have Dame Kelly on board again this year. She has offered endless encouragement to the online RED community. She’s an inspiration.”

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