Our wonderful Head of Wellbeing Miranda recently took on a mammoth trek around the Isle of Wight in support of the Booth Centre. In this blog, she tells us all about how it went and why she chose this particular challenge...
The Booth Centre and wellbeing
At the Booth Centre, I am involved with planning and providing activities that support wellbeing alongside physical and mental good health. Our wonderful team offer a wide range of opportunities for the people that come to the Booth Centre to improve their wellbeing – from creative art-based activities to gardening and bowls. We also have partners such as CGL (Change Grow Learn) who provide expert support to tackle mental ill-health as well as wellbeing and substance misuse support.
Wellbeing and the great outdoors
Working for an organisation that focuses on wellbeing and good mental health helps me to reflect and plan how to keep myself well. I love being outside and feel very lucky to live in Salford which is full of canals and parks and work at the Booth Centre with its lovely garden. After the travel restrictions of COVID-19 and not being to get out and about I was hoping to have a change of scenery this year – to experience a new landscape which I knew would benefit my own mental health. So, turning 50 this year I decided to sign up for an outdoors event – as this would motivate me to get fit with some regular training walks and explore my local area a bit more.
The Isle of Wight Challenge
I decided to do the Isle of Wight Action Challenge – as a coastal walk I felt this variety of landscape was what I was looking for, and at the beginning of May the wildflowers and birds would provide some welcome distraction from achy feet! The challenge is 106km in total so would include walking time through the night – as I haven’t done this before this felt exciting. As an organised walk, I also knew there would be advice and help – and importantly food and refreshments – throughout, and a marked out route which is much easier to follow.
I decided to do the event as a fundraiser as part of my half-decade celebrations. There are lots of brilliant charities and causes to raise money for – for me the Booth Centre made sense. I am lucky enough to be able to see the impact that our services make for people living in Greater Manchester, from our exciting activities programme through to using our free café for a tasty meal there are many ways that the Booth Centre supports our community to improve their wellbeing and physical health. As a local charity, based in Manchester it also felt important to me to raise money that benefits people where I live and work.
The challenge and being part of a team
The Isle of Wight Ultra Challenge took place on April 30. We set off at 7am with a plan to complete the 106km loop of the island within the next 36 hours. An important factor for me in doing the challenge was completing the route with two friends. Helping create social connections and having friendly and supportive conversations is a big part of what we do at the Booth Centre. The importance of having a friendly face around, and collaboration is something that I love to have in my personal life too – the help of family and friends helps me maintain good mental health. I was thrilled to complete my challenge with my two friends, Fiona and Jo. Together on the day we combined looking at the scenery as we walked, chatting and walking in companionable silence. We supported each other when the going got tough. We worked as a team to get around – and the wider team was all the kind people who sponsored me and motivated me with friendly encouragement and support, whilst raising much-needed funding at the same time.
After walking (with some resting and lots of eating along the way!) for 28 hours we completed our 106 km. I am so delighted and feel very lucky to have visited such a beautiful place, as well as spending time with friends. So far I have raised over £1300 for the Booth Centre and it is a big boost to know that this will support the centre’s work in improving wellbeing, whilst I have improved my own by carrying out the event.
You can still sponsor me here or contact our amazing fundraising team for support to complete your own challenge – I definitely recommend it!