AN INSPIRATIONAL Ayrshire man has announced plans to tackle Arran's highest peak to raise cash for a local mental health charity.

Garry Burgess set himself the challenge of running a half-marathon every day for a year in aid of the British Heart Foundation in 2023 but was forced to stop due to physical problems.

He'd passed the middle point of his 365-day challenge before a doctor told him to stop due to trauma to his organs.

Gary admitted that the setback left him fearing he wouldn't be able to run again.

But with the help of Ayrshire mental health charity Release, he regained the confidence he needed to get back out raising money for charity through exercise.

And now he's announced plans to climb Goatfell to give something back to the charity.

Release, which is based in Ayr and Cumnock but works across the whole of Ayrshire, is an online men’s support service that has been set up to help provide confidential support and advice to men of any age who are feeling down, in crisis or simply need to talk.

Gary said: “When I had no choice but to stop last year, it hurt my mental health, because exercise is good for it. It is one of the best things for your mental health.

“When I was doing the challenge for the British Heart Foundation, I was so determined to help them that I didn’t think of how it would affect me. I didn’t think I could run again.

“I sought help from Release, who helped me fight my fear of getting back out there.

"They helped reassure me that my injury happened because I was putting my body through too much at the time. They encouraged me to get back out there.

"They have taught me that there is a rainbow after the storm.”

The 47-year-old has now put his charity shoes back on and wants to raise money by embarking on different climbs across Scotland for the charity throughout the year.

Next month Gary will be making the 2,866-foot ascent of Goatfell on Arran to give Release a helping hand.

And he's inviting other people to join him too.

"The more the merrier," he said. "Let’s get a big group of folk up this hill for a great cause.

“A lot of men don’t see the stigma behind mental health compared to females, but I want to help change that.

"I think a lot of people who are struggling don’t speak out about it, and that is why we are losing people. The power a conversation can have is life-changing.

“I have family and friends who are taking part to support me, but I am opening the invitation to everyone.

"It doesn’t just have to be men. This is climb is for everyone who believes in this cause just as much as I do.

“No one will be left behind when we do the challenge.”

The climb will take place on Saturday, March 23 at 11am, with participants catching the 9.45am ferry from Ardrossan.

To donate to Gary’s fundraiser visit tinyurl/com/garyburgessjustgiving.