Marathon effort from Preston mental health team

Hazel Atherton and Tracy Jackson, pictured with St Catherines Hospice fundraiser Emily Bate.
Hazel Atherton and Tracy Jackson, pictured with St Catherines Hospice fundraiser Emily Bate.
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A Mental Health Marathon has raised funds for an eating disorder support group and a Lancashire hospice.

Hazel Atherton and Tracy Jackson, who are part of Preston Community Mental Health Team, which is made up of colleagues from the NHS and Lancashire County Council, organised a sponsored walk around Preston Docks, to support SEED and St Catherine’s Hospice.

They wanted to raise awareness of mental health issues and support a local hospice close to their hearts at the same time.

Their efforts raised more than £1,080 via JustGiving which was split between the two charities.

A further £58 in cash will also be handed to both charities, taking to overall total to £1,138.

Tracy said: “We wanted to get friends, family and colleagues together to talk about mental health, meet new people, reap the benefits of exercise and enjoy being out in the fresh air in a peaceful and tranquil environment, which all enhance our mental wellbeing.

“We wanted to raise money for the eating disorder charity SEED as well as St Catherine’s Hospice which means a lot to so many people, and is very close to my heart as my family has experienced the amazing care of St Catherine’s.”

Tracy said that they didn’t expect the turn out to be as fantastic as it was.

The idea was to cover the distance of a marathon between everyone taking part, by walking and running around Preston Docks.

More than 90 people joined in, including children, parents with babies in prams and people walking their dogs.

Tracy said: “We managed to cover an incredible 247 laps, which equates to 360 miles or 13.87 Mental Health Marathons, which is unbelievable.”

Emily Bate, community engagement assistant at St Catherine’s Hospice in Lostock Hall, said: “The Mental Health Marathon is a really uplifting and innovative idea which has brought members of the community together to raise awareness of an important issue, whilst raising funds for two very worthy causes.

“Mental wellbeing and hospice care really go hand-in-hand because hospice care is very personalised and is centred around the whole person.

“It doesn’t just focus on physical symptoms of life-shortening illness, it supports people psychologically as well.

“We’d like to thank Tracy and Hazel and everyone who took part in this fantastic charity walk for their wonderful efforts in raising awareness of St Catherine’s and donating a brilliant £540 to our charity.”