Three leisure industry workers are taking advantage of every single daylight minute of one of the longest days of the year to highlight the plight of those with mental health difficulties.

All three have first-hand knowledge and experience of mental health, including the death of a colleague who unfortunately lost his battle with his mental health just last year.

The trio, who work for Burnley Leisure and Culture (BLC), are appealing for anyone with experience of mental health difficulties, or who knows someone who has suffered, or is suffering, to join them as they step out on their Summer Solstice Walking Challenge at the Barden Athletics Track.

The walk has been instigated by Andrea Pollard, BLC’s Events and Partnerships Manager, who is being joined by Scott Bryce, Head of Group Operations, and Sports Activator Shrona Pilling.

They have set themselves a fund-raising target of £1,000 in aid of mental health charity Lancashire Mind.

The challenge will begin at sunrise, 4.37am on Monday June 20, and will end more than 17 hours later at sunset, which is 9.43pm.

Andrea, who has experienced her own battles with mental health in the last 10 years, said: “Hopefully, we’ll see people on the day who have struggled, or who may be struggling now.

"We can walk together, prop each other up. Come and tell us your story - if you feel like sharing - or we can just walk in silence and think about what we can be grateful for.

"So, if you do want to come and walk some or all the challenge with us get in touch.

“The main thing we want to get across is for people to come and walk with us, to feel the benefit of walking can have on mental health.

"There will be other services there, so if someone is struggling, or they know someone who is, they can make connections with those services.

“We’ve all got our individual stories, and while we are walking for people who have lost their battle with mental health, we’re also walking for people who are struggling now and might need some extra support, and we’re walking for people who have managed to trudge through the dark days and have now found the strength to see brighter days ahead, although they do still have to put lots of things in place every day to keep their mind well.”

Mental health services lined up for the day include Lancashire Mind, mental health conversation site Six Connections, specialist therapists Physiofusion, and MH1 Global – a mental health movement specifically for fitness professionals to improve their engagement with customers.

The benefits of activity on mental wellbeing will be highlighted by BLC Group, Active Lancashire, Together an Active Future, Burnley Rounders Club, Burnley Athletics Club, Burnley United, and Burnley Schools Sports Partnership during the event.

If you are interested in joining in all or some of the walk, contact Andrea Pollard: