A walking challenge by people who use NHS services in Wakefield has raised funds for a Yorkshire boy.
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides a recovery service for people experiencing psychosis. The community mental health team which runs the service in Wakefield began a walking group for users of the Recovery Service East earlier this year.
Once used to the weekly walks, the group decided they would like a new challenge and a ten-mile sponsored walk was agreed, with proceeds going to Therapy for Oscar, a fundraising initiative for a child with cerebral palsy.
Fourteen people completed the walk, raising almost £400 for Therapy for Oscar, which will go towards his treatment.
Mandy Bray, an occupational therapist for the team, said, “People return for the walks week after week. Walking is a social activity and can be enjoyed by so many people, whether or not they do any other form of exercise.
“Spirits were high throughout the challenge, although the last mile was somewhat quiet and it was noted that our student nurses were bringing up the rear! A few energetic souls sprinted the final few yards, where staff were on hand with applause and a medal to celebrate their achievement.
“Group members were extremely pleased with themselves for having completed the walk and two of the group members already have a second walk planned – 20 miles from Castleford to York in September.”
Walking is suitable for most people and has many benefits: it helps to manage weight, tone the body, lower blood pressure, improve sleep and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.
Walking can also help to improve mood, reduce anxiety and lead to meeting new people. It can increase self-confidence and be a healthy, low-cost hobby.