A group of people walking in a wooded area

Lambeth woman creates ‘virtual activity challenge’ to improve mental health

By Kassandra Jimenez Sanchez
February 14 2020, 15.50

A Lambeth woman is inviting people to take part in a ‘virtual activity challenge’ to raise money for the mental health charity Mind.

For three years, civil servant Jennifer Martin, 41, has competed in the London to Brighton ultra challenge where she will walk 100k for the charity.

This year she created an activity challenge for people to join her fundraising and improve their mental health at the same time.

People can enter the challenge with a £10 donation to her JustGiving page and can choose the activity and distance to cover over the entire month.

Ms Martin said: “You don’t need to do any fundraising, your donation goes straight to the charity and you are supporting mental health, but also you are getting a chance to see what being a little bit active can do for you and your mental health. 

“So if you are struggling with mental health yourself it’s a chance to just try and see if it helps you at all.”

Once completed Miss Martin will award the participants with a medal and thank you pack, with all the entry fees going to mind.

Ms Martin believes that the activity can be anything, like doing some house work, swimming five kilometres, cycling 100 kilometres or switching the TV on and off manually , the point is to be active as easy an accessible as possible.

Ms Martin said: “[Mental health] is not massively funded at the moment in the NHS and I think while people are more open to talking about it these days it’s still ways to go, and my big thing is in workplaces.

“It all takes training and training needs resources and money, so the more that we can raise for charities like Mind that are also working with workplaces to make them more aware, more resourced and able to handle mental health stuff when it arises, I think that’s a big thing” 

Walking and getting out in nature really helped the New Zealander with her mental wellbeing who after losing four stone in 2013 and dealing with work related stress got involved with Action Challenge UK.

As part of her training, Ms Martin takes with her three little mascots Patrick, Joe and Eddie, who get their photo taken after every walk. 

In the UK approximately one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year, according to the NHS.

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