Five friends from in and around Uckfield who combine busy working lives with motherhood are putting their best feet forward to raise funds for charity Mental Health UK.
The women – Lucy Lowe, a Lettings Director at Lampon Lets, Hannah Christian who works for Lloyds Banking Group, Caroline Burchett of Brian Gow Roofing, Clair Jeffrey of Rexstone Builders and self-employed Nehal Patel – are upping their activity levels this month to 13,000 steps a day to complete a Two Million Steps Challenge.
Exercising either alone or in pairs, in line with Covid restrictions, the five aim to cover a combined total distance of around 1,000 miles.
As well as enhancing their own physical and mental fitness, they know the sponsorship they attract will help those whose wellbeing has been impacted by the pandemic.
Mental Health UK says one in four Britons have experienced a mental health problem. The organisation combines the expertise of four mental health charities to provide information, advice and support to those affected including friends, families and carers.
While the five women are undertaking the Step by Step challenge with enthusiasm, they admit completing 13,000 steps a day has been tough going.
“Every one of us has a lot going on, so we’re being sensible and inventive about how and when to increase our steps. As well as walking, some of us are doing a bit of running and we’ve been completing physical activities online and even dancing at home,” said Lucy Lowe.
She addeD: “Getting outside, being more active and spending that time with a friend has boosted our mood and fitness levels and helped us sleep better.”
The women hope to encourage others to experience similar benefits, but urge people to go at their own pace.
“We’re all getting out of lockdown together step-by-step, but everyone is different. Just going around the block for a 20-minute walk and a chat with someone can give you a real lift,” said Hannah Christian.
With the Rule of Six – allowing up to six people to meet outside – scheduled to return towards the end of the month, the group are excited about being reunited, added Caroline Burchett.
She said: “We’re planning to finish the challenge walking together as a five in Ashdown Forest on March 31, and maybe celebrating with a glass of fizz after.”
To help the friends raise money in support of Mental Health UK, please visit their Just Giving page.