Meet the NHS doctor running 5k a day in a pair of Speedos

Dr Howard Stringer outside the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

Doctor Howard Stringer is hoping to raise awareness around mental health and suicide.

A frontline NHS worker has raised near £10,000 after donning a pair of Speedos and running 5km a day.

 

Howard Stinger — or Doctor Speedo — has vowed to continue the challenge in a bid to raise awareness around mental health.

 

The 27-year-old trauma and orthopaedic doctor says that, although there were a lot of “shocked faces” to begin with, he is receiving more recognition as the weeks go on.

 

“I’m getting a lot of beeps from people driving by, or people filming me or taking pictures to share because I’m sure when they tell others the story, people won’t believe them,” he said.

 

“I want to see people around Liverpool smiling and sharing a positive story.”

 

A JustGiving page set up by Dr Stringer has so far raised £9,413 for Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) — a suicide prevention charity.

 

Initially he began the challenge in January and would wear a sumo suit while running along Liverpool’s docks, but after hitting a £500 milestone, Dr Stringer decided to throw on a pair of red trunks — despite plummeting temperatures.

 

“I was working in Birmingham during the first wave (of coronavirus) and I was working in ITU (Intensive Therapy Unit) and it was obviously a very physically and emotionally draining job,” he continued.

 

“It didn’t look like we were coming out of the lockdown for a very long time.

 

“I think having subsequent lockdowns as well, it’s been very difficult for people to cope with. It’s very important that we are all considering our mental health and should be speaking about it more often to each other.”

 

“There’s always someone there you can reach out to and it’s very important that if you do feel you are struggling, you reach out to someone for help.”

 

Dr Stringer, who now works in Aintree Hospital, adds that local hero Mick Cullen was a big inspiration to him.

 

Cullen, better known as Speedo Mick, has raised more than a quarter of a million pounds for disadvantaged people after walking the length of the UK in a pair of Everton trunks.

 

“I spoke to Speedo Mick before I did my first run and he gave me support and motivation to get out there and run,” told Dr Stringer.

 

“I saw him on TV over a year ago walking in his speedos and I thought it was a brave thing to do as it was particularly cold at that time.

 

Dr Stringer refused to rule out a future collaboration with Cullen, adding there have been “rumours” of the two meeting up for a “little jog” once lockdown ends and it is safe to do so.

 

If you want to support Dr Stringer, you can visit his JustGiving page here.

 

For anyone who is struggling with their mental health, CALM are providing help and guidance on their website thecalmzone.net. Call CALM on 0800 58 58 58.

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