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“Samarathon” plan to improve mental wellbeing

North Somerset Samaritans are urging people to take part in “Samarathon” to raise vital funds for the charity - which wants to 'motivate more people to get active to improve their mental wellbeing'.

Today The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have joined with boxer Anthony Joshua and actor David Tennant to send a special message to mark the start of  Mental Health Awareness Week.

The Weston-super-Mare and North Somerset Samaritans say ‘Samarathon’ is a virtual marathon that encourages supporters to run, jog or walk a marathon distance in their own time over the month of July.

Spokesperson Helen Penhall said: "While we don’t know how long we’ll be observing social distancing and Government guidance on daily exercise, this is a challenge you can do on your own, with members of your household, or join with friends, family and work mates virtually, supporting each other’s progress wherever you are.

"Now more than ever we know getting active works wonders for your mental wellbeing. 

"Samarathon is a great goal to motivate people to go at that their own pace. Whatever your age or ability, it’s a challenge to do in your time, at your pace, wherever you live or work. 

"This fitness-fundraising initiative is focused on feeling good. We hope supporters will encourage their friends and family of all ages to take part as it’s an achievable challenge they can share and enjoy.

"In this current climate we really need the public’s continued support. Due to the cancellation of many of our fundraising events, Samaritans is facing a significant loss of funding, so we’re urging the public to help us ensure that we continue to be here for anyone who needs support. 

"It's free to sign up to Samarathon, but we’d love for everyone to raise whatever they can to support their local branch of Samaritans and help us be there for anyone struggling to cope.”

The challenge was officially launched just days before the start of Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May) With this year’s theme of ‘kindness’, Samaritans is calling on people to be kind to themselves, to get active and boost their wellbeing, as well as be kind enough to raise valuable funds to ensure Samaritans can deliver a critical service.

For more details visit www.samarathon.samaritans.org

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