A DAD from Cuddington who suffered depression and post-traumatic stress after being at the Manchester terrorist attack will tackle a huge endurance challenge in aid of a mental health charity.

Cllr Lee Jones, member of Cuddington Parish Council, took his 12-year-old daughter, Nadia, to the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena. It was a crowd of thousands, made up predominantly of parents with young children like Lee and Nadia.

A terrorist attack at the end of the concert killed 22 people and injured many more, and Lee, from Valley Way in Cuddington, was sent spiralling into his second spell of depression in the aftermath.

Lee said: “I have had personal experiences of depression and have had to have some quite protracted lengths of treatment for that.

“But I’d been doing fine for a long while up until the Ariana Grande concert.

"We were still inside when it happened and as soon as we heard the noise I knew exactly what it was. It was obvious to me and we were just focused on getting out of the arena and out of Manchester as quickly as possible.

“We saw a lot more than we would have liked on that night and it’s something that’s not going to go away for either of us any time soon. It was the most stressful experience of my life.

“For weeks after I was messed up. I was off work for a week, staying up too late, drinking too much, and just generally got into a state.

“I went to the GP and he said it’s a classic case of post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Lee, who only took up rowing three years ago and is now a member of Northwich Rowing Club, is now planning to tackle the world’s longest rowing race, the Boston Rowing Marathon on September 17.

Lee will take on the 50km race with rowing partner Ian Silk, from Runcorn, and is aiming to raise money for mental health charity Mind, in the process.

Lee added: “After I was diagnosed with PTSD, I got back into rowing, and it helped me so much in clearing my head.

"I was already planning to do the marathon but as soon as someone asked if I was doing the challenge for charity, it seemed an obvious choice to do it for Mind.”

Lee said that the average training session usually comprises around 12 to 15km of rowing, and says after that, his body would be tired and hands would be sore, so he is expecting a difficult task ahead.

To sponsor Lee, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/lincoln-boston-rowing-marathon