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05 September 2023

Hello, my name is Simon and I have been a Retail Sales Executive at Camelot for what’s coming up to two years now. An opportunity arose for me to join Camelot when we were coming out of the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic. A big reason for my decision to join was down to what I had seen - especially how the business treated their people throughout the lockdowns. Obviously, alongside representing a terrific brand with a great name and The National Lottery’s reputation for supporting Good Causes and helping change lives through its funding.

2022 was a very difficult year for me due to managing some health issues affecting my close family along with some of the effects that the lockdowns had on me. This really affected my health and ultimately led to me having to take some time off from work - predominantly due to the stress impacting both my body and mind, with the latter affecting my thought processes.

After several medical tests, it was ruled that I was struggling with depression and anxiety, resulting from my personal situation. Having dealt with these feelings, mainly by asking for help and looking into coping mechanisms, I found a real passion for running, something that I had done several years ago and decided may be a good idea to start up again. Running has really helped me to have something to focus on, and although I still sometimes struggle with “the health stuff” - it is something I would really recommend. Not just running, but I would suggest you find a passion and stick / persist with it.

For me, I always need an end goal, and on January 1 2023, I decided to sign up for the York 10k and challenge myself. That evening, I ran for the first time in several years - it was a real struggle. Fast forward to now, I have taken part in over 20 Parkruns and now completed my first 10k run in over 10 years.

For the York 10k, I wanted to give back to a charity and decided to raise money for a well-known mental health charity, Mind. They offer fantastic support and hopefully my fundraising can help someone else who has gone through - or is having - a similar experience to me.

A colleague of mine who took part in a charity boxing match told me about the match funding that Camelot provides. They will match up to £500 of money that you fundraise, which is a great incentive to raise more for your chosen charity. For my 10k race, I managed to raise £260 myself so by Camelot matching this, it took my total to over £500, which was very rewarding.

As mentioned before, having had time off from work, Camelot has always been fantastic and very supportive with me. It makes me want to give back and push to do my very best every day when at work, and knowing that I can be open and honest with those around me helps me to achieve this.