Hello fellow runners,

Stuart Parker

My name is Stu Parker and I just wanted to introduce myself to the Black Pear Joggers as I doubt many of you will know me as I only joined the club in January 2019. I chose this club after a few trial runs because of the friendly atmosphere .

I’m fast approaching 50 and for my job I’m a police officer of nearly 20 years. I’m married with two kids and have lived in Worcester since 2006. I’m a born Brummie and support the mighty Aston Villa.

I’ve played sports all of my life mainly football , cricket and golf. When I gave up football I took up cycling and carried on with the cricket in the summer. I only took up running in October 2018 after being diagnosed with depression.

Please see below a little background of my battle through a piece I wrote for the Force Criminal investigation Department at West Midlands Police:

It’s time to talk – Stuart Parker (PDF, 41KB)

I’m currently Secretary of the West Mids Police running section and captain of the force cricket team that is now also merged with West Mercia. Alas I don’t get time to play golf any more.

I volunteered for the role of Wellbeing Officer for Black Pears ( more specific for men) because I hoped I could offer a little experience first hand about mental health and well being. I’m very passionate about this and have just recently been involved in a national police webinar to try and promote sport again in the police service. Exercise is undoubtedly brilliant for the mind. I’ve added a few positive guidance pictures below. Just looking at these helps me sometimes.

Suffering from mental health issues is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. In fact it’s been proven that this illness nearly always happens to one type of person. He or she is strong, reliable, diligent, with strong conscience and sense of responsibility, but is also sensitive and easily hurt by criticism and has self esteem, which may look robust on the outside, is in fact vulnerable and easily dented.

So please don’t suffer in silence about any issues . A problem shared is a problem halved after all. I genuinely am happy to try and help anyone that is suffering. I can’t promise to have the answers but sometimes just talking about it is an instant relief. Honestly I’m just a phone call away.

Positivity plays a huge part in health and well being. Please can all club members just remember to be kind especially in these difficult times.

Yours in running and wellbeing