Staff and students from Tretherras, along with friends, have completed the third of 12 charity walks.
Mr Jones and Mr Nicholls, along with a group of nine other walkers and four faithful dog companions, walked the full length of the old Cornwall Minerals Tramway route, that has now been transformed into a popular cycle route and hiking trail. Named “The Coast to Coast Walk”, the group started at Portreath in the cold but bright sunshine on Sunday 14th January and headed across the county at a dog-friendly pace, getting to the other end of the trail at Devoran only five hours later.
Along the way, members of the group were able to discuss the various stresses and strains that could be having an impact upon their mental health, whilst also taking the opportunity to swap helpful hints and tips for living with depression.
Mr Nicholls said: “It was a fantastic walk. The weather was bright and perfect for walking at a good pace. A small group started at Devoran, to give themselves a few extra miles, eventually meeting up with the main group just outside of Scorrier, before heading back to Devoran altogether. These initial walks have created good training time to build up serious walking stamina in preparation for the 24 hour sponsored walk planned for November, which will coincide with the annual Movember Newquay Tretherras events. So far the walks have been a fantastic opportunity to get outside and chat whilst getting some exercise. This Coast to Coast walk was perfect both for the experienced walkers in the group but also for people who wanted an opportunity to join in and walk their dog.”
The #WalkThisWay project started as Mr Jones, Lead Teacher of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural studies at Newquay Tretherras, was doing some research into male mental health whilst planning an assembly to promote the school’s annual Movember campaign. Mr Jones said: “I was shocked and saddened to discover that suicide is now the biggest single cause of death in men under the age of 49 – so we decided that we had to do something bigger than one assembly. However, the issue obviously affects more than only men, so the Walk This Way project is open to anybody who wants to walk and talk about the issue of mental health, whatever your gender. Our mission is to get people walking and talking, out in the wonders of the Cornish countryside.”
Participating for the second time was Will Nicholls, who is a Year 11 Tretherras student and who is also MYP (Member of Youth Parliament) for Newquay and St Austell. Will said: “The pressures upon young people, especially in relation to important GCSE exams, can be very difficult for some students to manage. Getting out into the fresh air, into the natural environment, to do some basic exercise is something simple that students can do that helps ease stress and anxiety.”
The Walk This Way team are now a quarter of the way through their target challenge of taking on 12 works in 12 months, which each of the walk being set at a minimum of 12 miles in length, reflecting the statistic that shocked the team into taking action. They are now aiming to build up to an ambitious 24 hour walk from Land’s End to Newquay in November 2018, to mark the end of the year-long project. Their fourth walk, planned for Saturday 3rd February, will be a more challenging walk along the South West Coastal Path from Padstow to Newquay to help them to prepare for the bigger challenge – anyone wishing to join them for this walk can contact either Mr Jones or Mr Nicholls at Tretherras for further details.
The #WalkThisWay team has established a Just Giving fundraising page, (https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/Walk-This-Way) and you can choose to donate money to either Mr Jones’s charity (Movember) or Mr Nicholls’s charity (Campaign Against Living Miserably). More information about “Walk This Way” can be found at the project’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/walkthiswaytalkthisway/), on the Newquay Tretherras Website (www.tretherras.net) and also on the Tretherras / NT Character and NT Wellbeing Facebook pages.