Updated: Jun 15, 2020
We descended upon the Chancellor's Pub, in Hammersmith, the night of 30th September 2019, to meet up before our 44 mile overnight walk from Fulham FC to Reading FC. The fourth time for Walk and Talk MMH, but the first for some new team members.
Author: Shawn Hearn
30th September 2019 will live in my memory for a very long time. I had heard of a group of individuals walking 40 miles from Fulham to Reading in aid of mental health awareness. As someone who walks a lot already, I signed up thinking “how hard can it be?” and that it was for a cause I am very keen on. Nearer the time I started to question as to why and could I really do it. Once I was added to the online chat with the other walkers, all doubts disappeared – the camaraderie was there already.
As I made my way to Hammersmith straight from a manic day at work, I was looking forward to finally meeting the team who I would be spending the next 24 hours or so with. We met at a local pub near Craven Cottage and I was immediately at ease. I knew I was right to do this.
As we set off from Craven Cottage, the next 19 hours of the walk saw me talking to everyone at least once. It was amazing to hear of all of the different mental illnesses they had suffered and still do. To hear of the suffering and the coping measures they have set up to help themselves, it was amazing.
As the walk progressed, naturally it became harder and harder as fatigue and injuries crept in. However everyone, from the oldest to the youngest, kept pushing each other along. Where someone was struggling, there was always a raft of encouragement being provided.
From pitch black roads, to woodlands, to hills and housing estates, we carried on and stuck together. It really showed that with the right support, anything is possible.
I learnt a lot about myself and how far I have come from my worst days and I like to think I can use that to help others who go though the same.
I was asked if I would do it again...Of course I will. No questions asked.