A Lancaster runner has been working with volunteers and communities to host the #mentalhealthmile in the city.
Louise Goddard, is the founder of LegItLancaster and official #mentalhealthmile events.
Louise is a well respected name in Lancashire’s running community; previously on Team GB for Duathlon, wining silver medal in the World Championships in Switzerland in 2016 and currently representing England in the Marathon event at masters level.
Proving that age is no barrier, Louise didn’t begin her running career until her 30’s joining local club, Lancaster & Morecambe where she now coaches the C25K group.
Louise said: “Regardless of your age or ability, you can become part of #mentalhealthmile community; I hope to encourage more people to run, walk, talk and wheel via the one mile event organised one Sunday each month at 3pm, usually on Parkrun routes.
“The aim is to encourage people of all abilities and fitness to get together - families, the challenged, dogs, wheelchairs, the young and old.
“The ‘mile’ is particularly aimed at those who don’t do much exercise or wish to start a healthier work/life balance; or those who may need support and encouragement as well as venues providing toilets, parking and water.”
Mental fitness is the objective and by using exercise, group work and the safe environment of a traffic-free park Louise is enabling the more vulnerable in the community to come along and try something new.
Such is the success of #mentalhealthmile LANCASTER that hosts from other communities in the area have volunteered their help -Team Shazann in Catterall, Walney Wind Cheetahs in Barrow and Jogging Pals in Kendal also hold the #mentalhealthmile each month at 3pm in their own locations.
This year alone, the #mhm has over 3,000 crossing the finish line, in times ranging from 5 minutes to 50 minutes.
Louise came up with the the idea for the event, after setting up beginners running groups in 2015; encouraging people who need support or who lack confidence to start doing either the Couch to 5k programme or just to get outside and socialise. Clients from local GP surgeries and the Crisis Team are often encouraged to attend.
Visit #mentalhealthmile events on Facebook or contact Louise on 07900 011164.