jamie wide

Operation Cornwall Devon (OCD)

Matt (author) is Web and Digital Media Officer for the OCD Action Youth Panel

OCD Action member and Marketing Officer for OCD Action’s Youth Panel, Jamie Fletcher, is to embark on a 290 mile trek in aid of the charity this summer.

The 24-year-old, along with friend Adam Cowell, will be walking the entire length of the Cornish coastline over a two week period between 27th July and 10th August, a challenge aptly named ‘Operation Cornwall Devon’ (OCD).

Devonshire born Fletcher, who was diagnosed with OCD in 2009, is determined to raise money for a cause, and a charity, that is very close to his own heart.

OCD Action is a charity that is close to my heart and has become a big part of my life,” he said.

“I have never been let down by the charity – I have nothing but nice things to say about them and everyone involved or associated.”

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a serious anxiety-related condition, one that was once ranked in the top ten most disabling illnesses by the World Health Organisation.

Fletcher knows from first-hand experience how debilitating OCD can be, and believes it is vital to raise awareness for a condition that is so often misrepresented and misunderstood.

“It is important (to raise awareness) because I know how difficult life (with OCD) can be; OCD once crippled me, making everyday tasks, such as leaving the house, nigh on impossible.

“For me, the condition mostly involves mental rituals – most of my OCD relates to things that are going on inside my head,” added the 24-year-old.

“OCD has prevented me from becoming the person I wanted to be – I wanted to become a teacher but have had to change my ambitions in life as such as high pressured position is not something that I could cope with.

“I wanted people to know what people are suffering with: OCD ruins lives, and it is not a joke.”

The pair are hoping to attract support from local shops and businesses to aid their fundraising efforts, and have already received some generous donations.

“Once the flyers have been printed we aim to contact all of the local supermarkets, shops and businesses in the area.

“So far we have had a picture donated to raffle off and t-shirts to wear during the trek.”

Fletcher, who has just begun training for the challenge, is determined to raise awareness of both the condition and the charity, and plans to document his experiences along the way.

The walking twosome are determined to make the most out of their adventure – with hopes of raising plenty of money for the OCD charity – and the OCD Action member is quick to encourage anyone who can to donate.

“I love this charity and to raise awareness – it’s a serious disorder that destroys lives, yet people live their lives too scared to talk about their problems due to society’s misconceptions of OCD.

“The stigma attached (to OCD), this needs to change – please help us try and make a difference.”

You can donate to ‘Operation Cornwall Devon’ by texting ‘COTR89’ followed by the amount you would like to give to 70070, or alternatively visit Jamie or Adam’s fundraising page.

The pair have also set up a Facebook page to promote the challenge, and you can also Find Jamie on Twitter.

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