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Dagenham88 hold #runandtalk on World Mental Health Day

Emdad Rahman

On Wednesday, 10th October Dagenham88 Runners held a #runandtalk event to mark World Mental Health Day. A large group turned up for a brisk two mile walk and a friendly chat along the way. 

Headed by the Club’s Mental Health Champions – Louise Chapelle, Lynne Northcott and Rosina Salmon – the athletes wanted to promote awareness of how running and physical activities can help people feel better mentally. Louise commented, “When my Dad was diagnosed with cancer, I wanted to do something to raise money for cancer charities – so I signed up for a race. I found it made me feel more positive and cope better.”

After the walk on Wednesday – which included men and women of all ages, including some children – the feedback was really positive. Some attendees felt encouraged to come along to future Dagenham 88 training nights. These take place from 7.30pm every Tuesday at May and Baker Sports Club, Dagenham and at the same time every Thursday at Mayesbrook Park Jim Peters Stadium for track training.

Lynne added, “I love my Dagenham 88 family. Over the past 20 months I have been a member they have made me feel so welcome. I am pleased to be able to give something back. Being around such positive people who constantly praise me, encourage me and tell me I can do things, counteracts the negative thoughts I sometimes have in my head that tell me I can’t.”

Rosina led the way with a few walkers for a portion of the route. These participants were also encouraged to do a little running. Rosina concluded, “I have always found running has been great for burning off stress. We all have a bad day from time to time and, for me, a run always makes me feel better.”

Dagenham 88 plan to hold more #runandtalk events throughout the year. The Club next plans to hold a “run up to Christmas” event in December, as Christmas can be a difficult time of year for many people. Club members hope readers and locals can come along to the Club and give it a go. The sessions are drop in events, and there is no need to join or pay any membership fee until you are sure you want to join the Club.

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