Derry-Londonderry AWARE Mood Walk officially launches
AWARE, the depression charity for Northern Ireland, is encouraging local people to sign up and participate in its annual fundraising AWARE Mood Walk supported by Marks & Spencer.
Open to families, individuals, friends and colleagues, this year’s walk, which will take place on 9 September to mark World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September), is expected to be bigger and better than ever. The walk is 5k which will leave from Pure Gym.
Margaret McCrossan, Fundraising Officer from AWARE said: “In 2016, a total of 297 people lost their lives to suicide in Northern Ireland. This is a frightening statistic and what’s even more shocking is that Northern Ireland has statistically higher levels of mental health problems than the national average.
"The AWARE Mood Walk provides an opportunity for people to step out, show their support for those suffering with mental illnesses such as depression, and in-turn challenge the stigma many still face in society today.
“We’re absolutely delighted to have the support of M&S this year who, through their Foyleside store, have been able to promote the event to an extensive network of customers and colleagues.”
The AWARE Mood Walk is part of Marks & Spencer’s community transformation programme. As part of Plan A 2025, M&S is currently trialling a range of locally tailored actions across ten communities (including Derry~Londonderry) to help tackle the issues that matter the most – such as mental health and wellbeing, unemployment, loneliness and poverty – with a view to roll out the programme to 1,000 locations by 2025.
Danielle McDaid, M&S Ten Communities Project Co-ordinator said: “We’re excited to come together and support the AWARE Mood Walk as part of M&S’ wider commitment to Derry~Londonderry.
“Through our community programme, we’ve seen the lasting difference we can make to people’s lives through lots of small actions. We believe we can play a key role in raising awareness of an extremely important cause and deliver a positive change to the local community.”
Margaret McCrossan continued: “The AWARE Mood Walk is a really fun event and we’re encouraging walkers and runners of all ages and capabilities to take part - you are even welcome to bring your dog along!
“The day will begin with a short motivating warm up to lift our moods and ensure we are both physically and mentally prepared for the event.”
“Participants are encourage to fundraise through sponsorship with all monies raised going directly to educating and supporting those suffering with mental illnesses.”