A NORTH Yorkshire firefighter and martial arts instructor from Tadcaster, is embarking on a challenge of 35 squats a day for a year to raise money for York Mind.

Ewan Hewett has fundraised for York Mind throughout this year, so far raising in excess of £1,200, by undergoing the ‘Squat out the year challenge’, and to attempt to break the stigma surrounding mental ill-health.

He began on January 1, this year with 20 squats a day, has now increased this to 35 a day after a month, and has smashed the 6,500th squat already.

He said: “As a mental health sufferer, I often feel socially anxious and have panic attacks frequently, which led to me being off work for some time- even the smallest change in my routine would cause me to break down.

“None of this I am ashamed to talk about in the hope that sharing my experiences and treatment can help other sufferers too.”

The reason he chose to raise money for York Mind this way is due to his ethos, ‘motion breeds emotion’, whereby doing exercise increases our endorphins and makes us feel good.

He films himself squatting daily, posting the videos onto his social media and YouTube accounts, which often feature guest squatters, which have included an entire school from Leeds.

“I have found interesting locations to film them in, from training at work, to out in the snow and rain, every tee box whilst playing golf, and even in a number of supermarkets whilst shopping.

“I was open and honest with my family, friends, and colleagues, I sought counselling to understand why it was happening, what were the triggers and what coping mechanisms to apply, as well as consulting with my GP. I hope that sharing my experiences can help other sufferers too.”

Click here to donate to his Just Giving page.