Aug 20, 2021 | Other

Walking 100km for mental health awareness

Over a weekend in June 2021, five of our UK colleagues took part in the Cotswold Challenge, a 100km continuous walk to raise money for mental health charity Mind.

Lucy Stevens, Jodie Battson, Jo Pope, Karen Penney and Megan Merrifield showed great strength and determination to endure 26 hours and 18 minutes of continuous walking in the name of mental health. All five employees are also part of Western Union Business Solutions Mental Health First Aiders program, developed to increase visibility and support for emotional wellbeing in the workplace.

“Taking part in the Cotswold Way Challenge brought colleagues across different UK offices together as a team with one common goal, to raise awareness and funds for Mental Health charities,” said Jo Pope, Corporate Real Estate Analyst in our Peterborough office.

“Walking 100km was both physically and mentally challenging. We had all trained for distance and duration but by far the hardest part was the inclines and descents. Couple this with walking at night through fields of cows and climbing over fences and gates – it was exhausting!

Thankfully we were very fortunate with the weather, in fact a bit of rain to cool us down would have been welcomed.”

To date the group has raised an amazing £2948 for Mind which has exceeded their expectations by far.

“The generosity of friends, family and colleagues has been very humbling. A huge thank you to all that has supported us. You are all amazing and without you it would not have been possible. It was great to have a challenge and goal to help push ourselves out of our comfort zone and gain new experiences. Some of the team have already booked their challenge for 2022!!” said Jo.

The importance of mental health in the workplace is recognised across Western Union Business Solutions, and our UK and Australian offices gone to great lengths to normalise these conversations. 10 UK and 14 Australian based employees have completed a Mental Health First Aid Training course, gaining an in-depth understanding of how to spot triggers, and the skills to support a person in distress using a mental health first aid action plan.