Newport man set for charity coastal walk

James with son Tom.
James with son Tom.

A Newport-on-Tay man who has battled depression has embarked on an 85-mile walk around the Fife coast to raise funds for charity.

James Cassie (44) was urged to take up walking when he was diagnosed with depression earlier this year.

He says the walking has helped clear his mind and lose some weight, and now James is intent on helping others.

He started the first part of his four-part walk along the Fife Coastal Path yesterday (August 24).

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Starting off in North Queensferry, James will walk to Kirkcaldy, then to Pittenweem, up to St Andrews, and then along to the Tay Road Bridge.

He is raising funds for mental health organisation SAMH, and has so far collected almost £800.

“I was diagnosed with depression at the start of the year and it is something hard to come back from,” James explained. “One of the things that the doctor suggested was walking.

“Having started walking, I’m really enjoying it. I’m getting out in the fresh air and it’s helped me a lot.

“I thought, if I’m doing this, then I can help other people by raising money. It helps me and other people.”

James has been training for the walk with shorter treks between Newport and St Andrews, and has been supported along the way by his personal trainer (and son) Tom (8).

Speaking about the benefits of walking, he told the Citizen: “It’s difficult to take the first steps.

“But once you have it makes such a difference to how you feel.

“You can get away from all the thoughts in your head. I had a tendency to go back to bed and not to face the day.

“If you go outside and get walking you can clear your head. I also lost a bit of weight, which is great.

“You feel much more able to do things.

“It’s tough when you start with depression to make yourself do anything.

“But walking is a target.

“If you can give yourself an aim of a few miles a day, that’s great for you.”