A dedicated youth football coach and a former youth player for Thames Valley are teaming up to help young people beat depression – by 'walking, jogging or crawling' 1000 miles or more.

Father of two Dwayne McKenzie, 33 and 19-year-old Charlie Merritt, both from Iver, have signed up to do Walk 1000 – a national event raising money to fund mental health awareness workshops.

The workshops are designed to help youth sports coaches and others who work with young people in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire to spot signs of mental distress.

Mr McKenzie is football development officer with Thames Valley Youth Football Club which holds training sessions at Wexham School and Lascelles Park. He specialises in training younger players including his son Theon, five.

As a child he says grassroots football and sport helped him battle his own personal problems.

After attending one of the mental health workshops himself he said: "This is a fantastic workshop for all involved with youth in the community, from school helpers to scout leaders to football coaches.

"Depression is on the rise amongst youngsters and this workshop which is only a couple of hours long will help all see how they can best identify signs and help the youngsters, as well as building and instilling the confidence to overcome whatever issues some youngsters may have."

Mr McKenzie hopes to smash the 1000 mile target with his fellow fundraiser Charlie Merritt and get closer to 1,500 – raising £2,000 in the process to put more coaches on the workshop.

He said: "We are still working out the plan but we are going to walk, jog or crawl if we have to."

While many are doing the 1,000 miles for fun just by counting every daily step, he is purposely doing it outside normal activity and with his dog in order to make it more of a challenge.

Mr Merritt is already at 19 a veteran player for Thames Valley Youth Football Club. Injury curtailed his budding career but he hopes to start a coaching career soon.

You can help donate by texting: DCWR53 TO 70070 with your amount or visiting the Just Giving site on https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dcharity-runs-walks-crawls