COURAGEOUS Tracy Berry is conquering a phobia that left her a prisoner in her own home for six years.

The mum-of-five suffers acute anxiety but this year she has decided to tackle it by forcing herself to undertake a series of running challenges.

"I'd already missed out on a lot of things, such as trips out and parents evenings. I went to one of my children's birthday parties but I only lasted five minutes before I had to return home. That's why I was determined to do something about it."

At the beginning of this year Tracy, 37, of Sutcliffe Street, Halliwell, wrote a list of five runs that she resolved to complete across 2019. She's called it her Anxiety Challenge.

"About three years ago my partner, Mark, began running to lose weight. I sometimes managed to psyche myself up to go and watch him.

"When he set up a running group called One Foot on the Track I decided to join. I discovered that running really helped my mental state and it helps me to control my anxiety.

"At my worst I used to cry and shake but the running has meant a hell of a lot to me. It's allowed me to prove to myself that I have courage."

Tracy's next run - Muddy Maniacs - takes place on April 28 and is a 5k.

As well as helping herself, she has decided to help other people benefit from her bravery.

"I'm asking people to sponsor me or make donations to Bolton Hospice via I chose that in memory of my old nursery teacher, Mrs Egan, who spent time there."