BLC Step Out on the Longest Day for Mental Health 

Published on: June 15th 2023

Three leisure industry workers at BLC (Burnley Leisure & Culture) are taking advantage of every single daylight minute of the year’s longest day to highlight and raise money for two locally based charitable organisations supporting people struggling with their mental health

And they are appealing for anyone with experience of mental health difficulties, or who knows someone who has suffered, or is suffering, to join them as they step out on their Summer Solstice Walking Challenge at the Barden Athletics Track.

The intrepid trio of Paul Foster, Deputy Chief Executive, Alexis Turner, Beat the Streat Co-ordinator, and Martin Dixon, Business and Finance Manager, will be stepping out at sunrise, 04:39 on Wednesday June 21st, and will keep walking for more than 17 hours until sunset, which is 21.41.

They are walking for Casual Minds Matter and Six Connections and representatives from both organisations will be joining them on the day.

Paul Foster says: “We constantly promote the connection between healthy bodies and healthy minds at BLC, and we actively support the belief that everyone deserves to be happy and healthy.

“Anyone and everyone is invited to join us for as long or as little as they like. But we’re using the walk to advocate voluntary adversity, and we’ll do our best to help anyone who wants to push themselves out of their comfort zone to keep going at times of struggle, whether that be physically or mentally.

“Whether you’re part of a business, community group, school, or just an individual who loves to walk, come and get your steps in with us.”

Casual Minds

Burnley-based Casual Minds Matter will be using the walk to raise money to pay for 1-2-1 therapists as part of its fully funded counselling service, recognising counselling has a vital role to play tackling mental health issues but is often unaffordable for some of the people who need it most.

One of its supporters says: “This organisation has done so much for my brother as well as a lot of other people I know. I think it is great what everyone does. I haven’t attended for a number of weeks due to work, but the lovely people are always checking in on me.”

Six Connections

‘For mates. Powered By Mates’ is the belief behind Six Connections, which is also based in Burnley, and aims to make tough conversations about mental health struggles a little bit easier.

One service user says: “I didn’t know what to expect when I attended the Six Connections workshop, but it was amazing! The delivery was done in a way that everyone in the room was able to relate to and the honesty and relaxed manner of the Six Connections guys made it easy for people to feel comfortable and open up.”

This year’s trio are following in the footsteps of three colleagues who completed the challenge during last summer’s heatwave.

If you are interested in joining in all or some of the walk, contact Andrea Pollard: [email protected]

Alternatively, you can sponsor the walkers here.