Swindon & District Samaritans are inviting supporters to sign up to Samarathon, the charity’s annual virtual marathon, and set themselves the challenge of walking, jogging or running the equivalent of a marathon distance during July, helping the charity’s volunteers continue to provide vital emotional support.
Launching one month before the challenge kicks off( Friday, 1 July), listening volunteers at the Swindon & District branch are encouraging everyone to make the most of the long summer days by getting active and outdoors, which has the added bonus of helping to boost physical and mental wellbeing. Participants can choose how, when and where they complete their marathon – and can sign up to complete the challenge solo or join a team to complete it alongside their colleagues, friends and family.
Swindon & District Volunteer Branch Director, Susie Higgs, said: “These are tough times right now and more people may find themselves struggling to cope. Taking part in Samarathon is not only a fun way to help look after your own mental health and wellbeing but will help ensure Samaritans volunteers are there to support others in need of our help.”
Michelle, 41, and her son Elliott are signed up to take part in Samarathon this year after taking part in 2021: “My son Elliott wanted to raise money for Samaritans in memory of his dad. Sadly, he took his own life and Elliott wants to do as much as he can to make sure he is helping people that might be finding life tough.
“It worked so well because it’s so flexible. I’m a single mum, work full-time and it was really good to have that extra time with my son at the end of the day, chatting about what we’ve been up to whilst clocking the miles for this amazing cause. We’ll probably be walking it. There’s no downside to taking part.”
Rashi, 45, a listening volunteer for Chiltern branch is running a marathon in July for Samarathon, its part of a wider challenge she’s taken on in memory of her dad: “As a self confessed sub-standard runner I decided I wanted to do a challenge that would make my dad proud. I decided to take on the ultimate challenge – I’m doing 12 in 12 – that’s twelve marathons in twelves months. I’m chuffed I can do Samarathon in July. I am not a fast runner so this is ideal for me.
“For me the benefits of running are both physical and mental. When I run, I feel free. I can lace up any time and go out, breathe in fresh air and run as much or as little as I choose. That sense of freedom when I run clears my mind, it’s almost like meditation.”
Samarathon is being officially sponsored by Three UK. The Samaritans rely on connectivity, which has never been more important and over the three-year partnership Three UK and Samaritans will work together to expand services and help more people access emotional support, 24/7, 365 days a year.
To find more information or sign up to Samarathon, visit www.samaritans.org/samarathon