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Boot the Blues was an idea born at the beginning of this year on a frosty January day. Spurred on by my enjoyment of beating the January blues by running every day for national Mind (R.E.D January) I decided I wanted to create an active event for my local Mind to support the brilliant work they do to support those in our region who suffer with a mental health problem.

Tyneside and Northumberland Mind are a charity who helped pull me through the most challenging time of my life. The dedication and kindness of people who worked for local Mind and have helped me is something I'll never forget, which is why I knew I had to get involved in fundraising for the charity, so they are able to reach out to and support many more people out there just like me. Boot the Blues is a fundraising hike taking part along the Hadrian's Wall path- 28 miles of it, over three days. (15th-17th September).

Boot the Blues is for all the invisible mental health warriors out there who invisibly fight, each and every day, to maintain their mental health and survive the challenges we face. At the Safe Space drop-in support group that I attended last year in Alnwick I learned that far from being alone, there were many of us all fighting our own usually private and unseen battles. Safe Space gave us the opportunity to offload, to share, to support one another in shared empathy and to learn that we are far from alone in struggling sometimes with our emotions. It gave me that safe space to be me, to be honest and real and authentic. We dropped off our masks at the door, and we shared as much or as little as we wanted to in the group, in a climate of mutual respect, friendliness and compassion.

Boot the Blues is very special to me, as we are raising money for that exact same Safe Space group in Alnwick that I attended. As someone who has benefited from attending Safe Space, I mean it when I say that every donation matters, and every participant in the group matters. We are from all walks of life, all united by our wish for as many people as possible in the North East who have a mental health problem to be able to access support and find friendship via Tyneside and Northumberland Mind, to help enhance their wellbeing and a instil a sense of community and belonging.

To make a donation, please visit our Boot the Blues Campaign page www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/tynesidemind/boottheblues. For those interested in finding out more details about our Boot the Blues active fundraising event please contact me on imanisummer@yahoo.com.

2 comments

  • David Hawkins

    14 September 2017, 5.59pm

    All the very best with your Boot The Blues fundraising walk along Hadrian's Wall over coming 3 days. I hope many lasting friendships are made. Thank you on behalf of all the brilliant folk who attend Alnwick Safe Space Support Group, which I still attend and benefit from enormously, for raising funds to try to keep us going. Safe Space has been vital to me as it's the only place where (as you say Imani) I feel I can leave my well worn mask at the door and be honest, open and really offload all under a roof of shared empathy, understanding and compassion. Hope you raise lots of money and enjoy the 28 mile walk. All your efforts in organising and doing it are really appreciated here at SS Alnwick. Good luck and we will all be with you in thought....you will all smash it and love the scenery and comradery. Well done........ENJOY x

  • Imani

    29 September 2017, 11.50am

    Sorry I've only just seen this! Thanks so much David to you and everyone at Alnwick Safe Space. I am so happy with how the Boot the Blues event went :) Everyone hiking had a brilliant time, and we made special memories as a group of people all hiking for the same positive purpose. Being part of Boot the Blues has been such a boost for my own mental health, and we are continuing Boot the Blues with two further hike events planned for 2018 to support Safe Space and other Tyneside and Northumberland Mind projects on an ongoing basis. Your support is much appreciated :) PS. Our fundraising total so far is £2216, plus there are cash donations still to add on, so I'm really happy with what Boot the Blues has achieved! :)

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