Sunrise to Sunday: Day-long charity walk to raise awareness for mental health

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Sunrise to Sunset’, which is being organised by Burnley Leisure and Culture, Six Connections, and Pendleside Hospice, will take place at Barden Athletics Track in Burnley, starting at 4-39am and concluding at 9-41pm on Wednesday, June 19th.

The event aims to shine a light on the mental health services made available to those living in Burnley and Pendle, while encouraging community members to engage in physical activity and meaningful conversations. Participants can choose to support and raise funds for either Burnley Leisure and Culture or Pendleside Hospice by participating individually or in teams.

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'Sunrise to Sunset' will take place at Barden Athletics Track on Wednesday, June 19th.'Sunrise to Sunset' will take place at Barden Athletics Track on Wednesday, June 19th.
'Sunrise to Sunset' will take place at Barden Athletics Track on Wednesday, June 19th.

This week marks Mental Health Awareness Week, on the theme of ‘Movement: Moving More for Our Mental Health’.

Dave Scholes, founder of Six Connections, expressed his enthusiasm for the event: "Having been involved in the ‘Sunrise to Sunset’ event for the last couple of years, this has become a key date in the Six Connections calendar. Encouraging positive conversations around mental health is our focus and an event that provides the opportunity to chat, and exercise is the perfect fit.

“We work closely with both Pendleside Hospice and Burnley Leisure and Culture, and the opportunity to support these organisations in June feels like a real privilege. Our input during the day is very simple. We want people to commit to finding six of their mates, colleagues or family members and come down to the track to walk and chat. Business meetings, working lunches or a walk with your kids. Whatever it looks like we want to fill the track with people throughout the day.

“If you can raise some funds for these fantastic causes, even better. Our tagline is Powered By Mates and we want to hang around with ours from sunrise to sunset."

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Last year, the event successfully raised £1,500 for Six Connections and Casual Minds Matter, and this year, the three organisations aim to exceed that achievement with greater community involvement.

Andrea Pollard, events and partnerships manager at Burnley Leisure and Culture, said: "We dedicated the longest day of the year to mental health last year and saw tremendous participation from all sectors of our community. Many organisations joined us, dedicating an hour or two in the morning, or joining us for the whole afternoon. This includes local businesses, health and wellbeing groups, schools and individuals. This year, we’re aiming to build on that momentum and involve even more people."

There will be a DJ and live music throughout the day, activities for children including a face painter and bouncy castle, food and refreshment stalls, and the presence of various mental health support groups. Participants tackling the entire challenge may cover distances between 45-53 miles, translating to over 100,000 steps.

Leah Hooper, community engagement officer at Pendleside Hospice, who is also participating in the full challenge, added: "We're really excited to be joining forces with two brilliant local organisations for this challenge. As strong advocates for mental health, we want to highlight what services are made available to our community and would like to encourage others to come along and join us for the day. Whether you join us for a few hours or you’d like to take on the entire challenge, your participation will make a difference.

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“We’re also incredibly lucky to have the support of other mental health support groups on the day, including members of our Corporate Challenge. There are also plans in place for our service users to get involved, who will benefit greatly from such an exciting and rewarding event.

“At Pendleside, the health and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers is crucial. As a member of the Health and Wellbeing Committee at the Hospice, we host monthly meetings and plan various initiatives throughout the year to ensure our team is listened to and cared for.

“We also have a fantastic team of trained counsellors, many of which dedicate their own time to Pendleside, to ensure that our community receives family support when they need it. Last year, 665 individuals throughout Burnley and Pendle received bereavement counselling, including 76 children. This service is completely free of charge to those living within our area and we want more people to be made aware.”

For more information, or to sign up for the "Sunrise to Sunset" challenge, contact Leah Hooper on [email protected]. Refreshments will be made available, free of charge, to all those who sign up.

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