Presenter's prom stroll kicks off 100 miles in 100 day challenge

There was a great turnout for the New Year's Day walk at Felixstowe to start Suffolk Mind's 100 miles challenge

There was a great turnout for the New Year's Day walk at Felixstowe to start Suffolk Mind's 100 miles challenge - Credit: Suffolk Mind

Walkers took in the sea breeze along the Suffolk coast on New Year's Day as they kicked off their first mile of the year for mental health.

Scores of people joined BBC local radio presenter Wayne Bavin and his dog Molly at Felixstowe seafront to start the 100 Miles for Suffolk Mind challenge.

Radio presenter Wayne Bavin has launched the first mile of the year for Suffolk Mind's 100 miles challenge

Radio presenter Wayne Bavin has launched the first mile of the year for Suffolk Mind's 100 miles challenge. He is pictured at Felixstowe - Credit: Sam Brook

Research from charity Suffolk Mind shows that since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns, more than half of us in Suffolk are still not, on average, meeting our emotional needs - putting us at risk of mental ill health.

The report also shows we have all been exercising and moving less.  

Walkers met Wayne Bavin and his dog Molly for a walk along Felixstowe prom for Suffolk Mind

Walkers met Wayne Bavin and his dog Molly for a walk along Felixstowe prom for Suffolk Mind, starting their 100 miles challenge - Credit: Suffolk Mind

Mr Bavin said:  "It was a lovely experience, to meet and walk with so many people on a gorgeous sunny morning, along Felixstowe prom on the first day of 2022.

"We all know how important it is to try to stay well both mentally and physically and I am more determined than ever to do this for myself this year.

"What better way to start, than a stroll on the prom with like-minded, friendly people - and of course all the dogs that joined us too! Here’s to a happy and healthy 2022.”

Walkers at Felixstowe 

Walkers at Felixstowe - Credit: Sam Brook

A team of seven from media company Archant are also taking part in the 100 miles challenge.

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Account manager Samantha Brook, from Ipswich, who is heading up the team, said she was passionate about supporting the mental health cause.

Miss Brook, a happiness coach, has a website inspiring others to be happy.

Samantha Brook, an account manager with Archant, pictured with her partner Andrew Piotrowski

Samantha Brook, an account manager with Archant, took part in the walk at Felixstowe. She is pictured with her partner Andrew Piotrowski - Credit: Sam Brook

"I was on antidepressants for 26 years and came off them three-and-a-half years ago," said Miss Brook, 46. "It's something I'm really proud of."

After undertaking mental health training, she set herself the goal of exercising three times a week, and said the Suffolk Mind challenge was a "really good opportunity" to help her achieve that.

Wayne Bavin and CEO of Suffolk Mind Jon Neal

Wayne Bavin and CEO of Suffolk Mind Jon Neal - Credit: Suffolk Mind

Jon Neal, chief executive of Suffolk Mind, said: "We’re really grateful to Wayne for raising the profile and heading up this first mile of the year, highlighting and recognising the benefits to our physical and mental health.

"Hopefully everyone there this morning will keep up their efforts and complete 100 Miles for Suffolk Mind in 100 days, taking them all the way to Easter!”

Lorna Savoy taking part in the event

Lorna Savoy taking part in the event - Credit: Sam Brook

Lizzy Tuthill, community fundraising and future gifts manager for Suffolk Mind, thanked everyone who is taking on the challenge.

"The pandemic has impacted everyone and put pressure on these vital services and so the support from the community has become so much more needed and important.

"I would encourage us all to support one another in whatever ways we can and I thank everyone who has supported us in the past, present and future,” she said.

To sign up to 100 Miles for Suffolk Mind see here. 

To support the Archant team by donating visit their JustGiving page. 

The view along Felixstowe prom

The view along Felixstowe prom - Credit: Suffolk Mind


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