The North Staffordshire running community came together on Tuesday (10 October) to mark World Mental Health Day. This #runandtalk event aimed to raise awareness and break down barriers surrounding mental health issues.
Run & Talk was organised by volunteer Mental Health ambassadors Phil Thomas, Kathryn Taylor, Graham McLachlan and Mark Cooper. It is part of an initiative devised by England Athletics with support from mental health charity MIND to encourage people to use running as a form of therapy.
Tuesday's event was advertised as an all-club run and suitable for all ages and abilities. Hosted by Trentham RC, it invited everyone to walk or run while chatting with others in a friendly, supportive environment and free from any stigma.
Nearly 100 runners and a dog set off at 6.30pm from Trentham RUFC at a pace to suit all abilities with plenty of mustering along the way. They were cheered by the event organisers, who were a distinctive feature in their white hi-viz vests, as they made their way around a 5.5-mile route in Stoke. The organisers ensured that everyone had a safe and enjoyable run followed by drinks and cake in the rugby club bar.
For many, it was an ideal opportunity to catch up with old friends while meeting new ones and improve their mental wellbeing at the same time. The positive feedback and the success of this event means another will be organised in the next few months. Watch this space…
Photo courtesy of Mark David Arthur Cooper.