INTREPID Oldbury Academy headteacher Phil Shackleton is set to start on a punishing programme of physical challenges to try and help prevent suicide in young people.

Throughout the academic year, Phil has targeted a number of events where he plans to push himself to the limits while raising both funds and awareness of the problem.

As a result, Phil has collaborated with the national charity PAPYRUS which stands for ‘Prevention of Young Suicide’.

Phil kicked off his campaign this month with a half ironman distance triathlon which comprised of a 1.2 mile open water swim, follow by a 56 mile bike ride and then a 13.1 mile half marathon to finish off with.

Further events to follow include the Cannock Chase Trial Half Marathon in October and then the Birmingham Half Marathon in November.

Future challenges will follow each month as Phil attempts to highlight the problems of suicide.

PAPYRUS was founded back in 1997 by a group of bereaved parents who had each lost children to suicide. Since then, it has grown into a UK wide charity.

Phil points out that every academic year, 200 students in the UK are lost to suicide, which is a tragedy for those who take their own life and for their family and friends.

He adds: “It’s vital that everyone works together to support those who present suicidal behaviors and help to raise awareness that suicide can be prevented."

The charity has set up their own helpline which is staffed by trained suicide prevention advisers who work with young people and anybody concerned for a young person to help keep them safe from suicide.

Phil concludes: “They appreciate every donation no matter how small or big it may be. By donating you are really helping to save a life."