High Peak Samaritans seek fundraisers to take on Samarathon fitness challenge this summer

Buxton & High Peak Samaritans is inviting people to take on the challenge of walking, jogging or running the equivalent of a marathon distance this summer and help the charity’s volunteers continue to provide vital support to residents in distress.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 3:23 pm

The launch of this year’s national Samarathon coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week, May 10-16, and is encouraging people to complete the challenge during July and make the most of the long summer days after months of lockdown.

High Peak branch director Jill Pearson said: “Samarathon provides a great opportunity to get active and enjoy spending time outdoors, which is more important than ever.

“It is also a real boost to our volunteers, who have clocked up many hours providing emotional support to those who are struggling to cope during these challenging times.”

Samaritans supporters will be stepping out all over the UK in July to fund the charity's lifesaving work.

She added: “The pandemic has significantly hampered our ability to fundraise over the past 12 months. Taking part in this challenge is not only a fun way to look after your own mental health and wellbeing but will allow us to support others who are struggling with theirs.”

Participants can choose how, when and where they complete their marathon – and can sign up alongside friends and family, cheering each other on either in person or remotely.

Cathy Riddington, a local listening volunteer has teamed up with a group of friends for a sponsored walk. She said: “With the pandemic, we were very conscious of looking after our mental health so we thought it would be good to physically challenge ourselves, as well as being a good motivator to regularly get outside.

“Being out in nature helps puts things in perspective. I really enjoy getting out in the fresh air, feeling freer and not restricted by your own thoughts or responsibilities.”

Laura, 43, who took part last year in memory of her sister Louise, said: “Samarathon was so amazing, it gave me something to focus on after coming out of lockdown.

“I never liked running before but by taking it slowly and doing small amounts every other day, the mental health side of it almost took over from the fitness side. That was a big motivation because I felt great after it, I love it.”

For more information, go to www.samaritans.org/samarathon, and select ‘Buxton and High Peak’ when signing up.

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