AFTER 15 days, 421 donations, £6, 245, 442km and 633,771 steps Dan Simms arrived at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport – the finish point of his walk for men’s mental health and suicide prevention.

The 24-year-old set off from Caldicot Castle on Saturday, February 24 with a motorcycle escort and finished at the airport’s ‘I Amsterdam’ sign last on March 9.

Dan Simms with members of his family outside Caldicot Castle. © Leonie Roberts Photography
Dan Simms with members of his family outside Caldicot Castle. © Leonie Roberts Photography (Leonie Roberts Photograohy)

The walk was partly inspired by two friends Dan has lost to suicide He said: “The journey was incredible, it definitely pushed me to places my mind hasn’t been to before.

“It was all about using the memories of my friends and the heartbreaking stories I heard, as a driving force, because pain can be a big teacher, and a big motivator, if you use it correctly. 

“You’d think the last day of this crazy journey would have been an easy walk, but it really wasn’t. I was exhausted, but the fact that I knew I was finishing felt very good.”

Dan said: “Hearing people’s stories about how their husbands, wives, sons and daughters had taken their own lives, and that I was bringing light to their life by doing this walk, were incredible to hear.

“A big challenge was getting injured on day one. I had to stay positive about the two weeks ahead of me, whilst limping every single step.

“I’ve suffered and pushed myself hard many times but this was next level. Aches and pains everywhere, blisters, sleeping in different places every night with broken sleep, not having a proper diet, the loneliness, the boredom.

“I received support from so many people, including hotels – I honestly couldn’t have asked for more. 

“This has been the most incredible experience of my life, and one that I’ll never forget – especially as I’ve got it tattooed on my right arm.”

Dan has also been raising funds for the men’s suicide prevention charity Andy’s Man Club.

Donations can be made via Search for Caldicot to Amsterdam.