How did you get your ‘job’?
I’m a self-employed designer.
I’ve had anxiety ever since I can remember but I didn’t know what it was until later life, when I found out what it was (generalised anxiety disorder) I wanted to try and help my mental health.
I was no longer playing football so I decided to get into biking, I wanted to try and inspire others to bike to also help their mental health and saw there was a gap in the market with repost accounts (a repost account that reposts ‘normal people’ and not known riders).
As my background was design and marketing, I set up the social media, branding, website and was away.
What is your business/brand and WHY do you do what you do?
We do quite a lot however the main part or mission statement is that we encourage people to get out on their bikes to help physical and mental health while having fun and helping the environment.
I do it because I know first-hand how difficult mental health can be and I want TotalMTB to be a safe please for people to speak openly and confidently about their mental health and if they’re struggling.
The more people and awareness we spread the better and the more people we can help.
What is a typical day in the life look like at your business / brand?
I look after my daughter alot while my wife works so that takes quite a bit of time, of course I enjoy spending time with my daughter but it takes alot of time away from work.
My main business is design and marketing so I have to balance keeping that running while trying to develop TotalMTB which at times is difficult.
With TotalMTB there’s alot of emails back and forth throughout the day discussing things with brands new and old.
What are your goals and future-plans for your business/brand?
We’re always coming up with new ideas for our community but my goal is it reach as many people around the UK, Europe and World about mental health and hopefully impact them in a positive way.
How do you currently see the kids cycling scene?
Personally I think kids biking has developed and become so much bigger and better over the last few years.
There are a few factors in which I think it has developed more although I may be wrong in some and I may have only just come across them myself:
- Balance bikes
- Balance bike competitions
- Clothing and protection clothing tailored to youngsters
- Existing brands doing more for youngsters
- More groups for youngsters
- Social media (to some extent)
All the above has made it so much more accessible for little ones and I think it’s fantastic.
What impact would you like to make on kids cycling, and how do you see the future?
To encourage kids out on their bikes, having fun, without caring much about what bike they’re on or what brand clothes they’re wearing or taking a photo for social media.
While they’re out they will be actively learning about nature, the environment etc.
It will massively be helping their mental health being out and it’s a great way to bond with family and friends.
Where do you take your inspiration from? Who inspires you in the industry?
In the beginning it was BKXC and GMBN, we follow some great people and great brands who’re all doing fantastic work and sometimes we get inspiration through them and social media.
But we also now try and lead our own path with ideas.
What goes into the research when developing your new projects?
There’s a process to project ideas we do:
- Firstly either we have the project idea already or we want to do something and have to figure out the best way to go about it
- Usually I discuss it with Lew and Andy (the main people who help with TotalMTB) to see their opinion
- Occasionally I talk to ambassadors about the idea to see their thoughts
How can people find out more about your work and your brand/business?
There a lot more information about all the projects we do, things we support and people who support us on our website www.totalmtb.co.uk
People can also follow us on social media, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Any other comments / content you would like to include?
I personally think that the work especially done by Little Rider Co and Si Paton for kids cycling is fantastic and is doing wonders for youngsters.
We hope to get involved more in kids cycling as time goes on.
For example we’ve recently started a new project with Daisy (@pint_size_cyclist) in which we encourage kids to go out on their bikes.
We want to see their experiences and progression on a bike to share them and inspire other kids.
We’ll be doing challenges every so often to keep kids engaged and having fun on a bike while outside.
You can follow the Instagram @AdventuresWith.Daisy
What are the benefits of riding for the mental health of Children?
As kids are young and still developing we don’t know if and when they are suffering with mental health however what we can do is try to keep them active and outside, this will certainly help their mental health.
They may still suffer in the future unfortunately as it’s not something you can totally stop from happening but there is things you can do to help ease it and maintain it with the most important being getting exercise and being outside, where biking fits perfectly.
What activities, actions or habits can we all do more of to support better mental health?
As mentioned above being active and outside is one of if not the best thing people can do but I think another important thing we can do is try to make society more open and understanding to mental health.
Make it so people are comfortable and comfortable to be open about it and seek help.
If we can we’d be able to help so many more people, unfortunately we can’t stop mental health but we can help and manage it the best way we can.
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