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Crawley mans story and book is the inspiration we all need

From losing everything to changing his life for the better this is one story that will change your perspective on life.

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Three years ago Ben Hulmes life collapsed.

Having worked hard to build a life for him and his family in Spain it all fell apart after his partner walked out on him.

Having worked hard for three years on building up a business, creating a loving home he found it was all gone, including his two children.

As Ben puts it he hit ‘Rock Bottom, I was BROKEN’.

Ben before he turned his life around.

But what happened next is a prime example of how even at the most desperate of times you should never give up. You should never let the demons we all have in the back of our mind trying to put us down take hold.

Instead of just allowing his world to continue to collapse, to turn to drink or worse drugs, he made a conscious decision to change it all for the sake of his daughters. He moved back to the UK with his children joining him as a full time single dad and now resides in Crawley Down.

“I focused on positives not negatives. I focused on my mental health. I changed my life, my mindset and my body.” says Ben.

And change he did.

Ben working out.

In-fact Ben managed to do something so many people fail to achieve. He managed to focus on what mattered to him and used fitness as the outlet for his energy.

It took time though but the change was significant. So much so in-fact that Ben managed to lose 5.7 stone in two years.

The transformation is clear.

But this transformation is all the more incredible when you learn that Ben was almost left paralysed after a horrific car accident 10 years ago.

In Oct, 2008 he was traveling as a passenger in a car that lost control and hit a tree. As a result he broke and dislocated his neck. The doctor said he should have died or at least been left paralysed but following a 6 hour operation and having metal pins inserted in his neck fusing the C3 and C4 vertebrae he survived. What followed was 10 years of living off anti-anxiety and antidepressants.

The incredible change, before and after and the metal pins in his neck.

But Bens story is much more than just losing some weight because mentally he changed as a person for the better. The anger he once had over what had happened disappeared and suddenly life was about positives not negatives.

This culminated in winning the Inspiration Category at the Crawley Communities awards this year.

Then came the realisation that what he had been through could benefit others.

“I wanted to inspire and help other people.” says Ben.

So just over a year ago Ben set about doing just that. In May 2018 he launched Boot Camp at Tulleys with just five people participating. But the belief he had stayed fast and just one year to the day to that first class he was getting over 120 people every session.

Suddenly everything was changing around him. Mentally he was happy, his business was growing fast and life was all positives.

Now Ben has taken another step in helping others by writing a book. But he is clear that this is not just another ‘get fit’ book.

“I wanted to write something that is not just about how to eat and how to exercise but to also focus on the one area that very few people ever talk about, the mind.” he says.

Ben’s book, ‘The Game Changer‘ launched last Sunday 12th May at a book launch in Olivers Coffee & Wine in Copthorne with even the British Heart Foundation attending.

The book has been split into three ‘phases’ as Ben puts it. The first explains his story so readers can understand him. The second is the largest section which is all about getting into the right mindset whilst the final phase is Bens own take on nutrition, talking about what we are designed to eat.

What Ben has done is remarkable and is a true testament to what is possible when you put your mind to it. In-fact with mental health issues appearing every day in the news around the world finally people are starting to realise that the issue is not one that anyone should be ashamed of. It’s actually one we should all be talking about, helping each other with and ultimately acting upon.

Ben’s story is one for everyone, whether you want to lose weight or not because it does more than inform, it actually inspires and gives hope to thousands of people who are living in their own anxieties. This isn’t just a book, this is a lesson in living and what could be more important than that?

Community

Local volunteers drive GPs to essential home visits in Crawley

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Image: Dr Phoebe Danes and volunteer Chris Ball.

Local volunteers have stepped up to help drive clinicians to home visits during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The initiative was launched by local GP federation Alliance for Better Care, who have rented black cabs to provide essential transport for clinicians attending patients’ homes. 

The taxis, which have been adapted to make them easier to clean, are driven by volunteer drivers who have come forward via various community Facebook groups.

Thanks to the layout of the cab, drivers are completely separated from the clinician who is also afforded extra space in the cab to put on PPE and write up notes. 

Matt Cullis, practice manager at Leacroft Medical Practice said:

“Our surgery is still open to treat patients, however, home visits have become particularly important for those who are shielding and not wanting to leave their homes. This service saves us time and allows our doctors to travel to appointments in an environment that can be easily cleaned and has room to put on PPE.”

Alliance for Better Care is the GP federation for Crawley, Horsham, Mid-Sussex and East Surrey and so far the project has been rolled out at Leacroft Surgery in Crawley and throughout Burgess Hill, with plans to extend it to East Grinstead and Horley in the coming weeks.

Katherine Saunders, ABC chief executive said:

“We have been overwhelmed with the number of volunteers who have come forward and we’d like to thank them all for offering to support this service. We are, of course, committed to protecting both our volunteers and our clinicians. We insure drivers and carry out all necessary checks while also providing PPE. This is a valuable resource for our clinicians, and increases our capacity to reach more patients.”

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