Lloyd and his wife Tracey set up the Foundation to fund mental health research, awareness and support after their eldest son Max tragically died aged 22 in 2018 after a battle with clinical depression.
He has been joined by eight supporters, including family friends and his godson, who set off from Prestatyn in north Wales on 25 July in an attempt to raise £15,000. The group hopes to walk 20 miles each day for a week and complete the rest of the trek throughout the summer.
Father of four Lloyd, also Operations Director of the Conveyancing Association, said the walk would be a “pilgrimage” to Max and his “beloved Wales” and the funds raised would be donated by the Foundation to a wellbeing centre at a Welsh school, St Alban’s in Pontypool, where Max volunteered in the summer before he died.
The walk will also mark a very sad milestone for the family – the third anniversary of Max’s death – in August. Max, who was a third year student at Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent when he died, was a talented rugby player at Monmouth RFC and a former pupil at Monmouth School for Boys in Wales.
Lloyd explained that his son had been struggling for a year with clinical depression before his death and despite regular counselling, medication and total family support, he could not be saved.
He said: “In the wake of our devastating loss, we started to look at the statistics for the sheer number of men who take their own lives every week – over 80 men in England and Wales which is equivalent to over 11 every day and over 4000 a year, and we were driven to try and make a difference.”
They went on to set up the Mindstep Foundation, which so far has raised over £110,00 for mental health research and support.
Lloyd added: “The Mindstep Foundation was established following Max’s passing to fund research into the causes of suicide and support those who have been bereaved or who are at risk of suicide. As Max’s family, our mission is to take steps, however small, towards ensuring that no-one suffers the loss of a loved one to suicide.”
The Mindstep Foundation has also committed to raising £100,000 over the next two years to help fund landmark work at the University of Glasgow into the causes of suicide.
You can donate to this worthy cause here.
See the latest reports from the trek: