Walking out of Darkness is a suicide awareness walk organised by CLASP Charity Saturday saw the first event outside of London which was great for us based in the south west as it was a walk from Bath to Bristol, right in my stomping ground.
The purpose of these walks is to raise awareness of suicide, and help promote suicide prevention. Being someone who has survived suicide a few times needless to say this is something dear to my heart. To ensure that people get the help and support they need early so that they never reach the point where they feel suicidal is, to me, crucial. Saturday was World Suicide Prevention Day so it was the perfect day to hold the walk on.
The day started off pretty wet, it was looking like it might be a sodden day with lots of rain! But everyone was in good spirits and had raincoats to ward off the rain! I was walking with Hubby which meant we were spending a great day together doing something that meant the world to us both.
There were some really thoughtful speeches from a Bath councillor, the Bath Mayor, someone from Avon & Somerset Police, a very moving speech from a mother who had lost her daughter to suicide last year, Grace from Freedom of Mind did a fantastic speech about tackling stigma, and Johnny Benjamin was there and did a great speech which seemed to really motivate the walkers.
The warm up was given by Louise Parker personal trainers, they gave a small speech about their ethos and it was the first time I was impressed by what a personal trainer had to say! They spoke about how fitness was as much about the mind as the body and just going for a walk was as good as going to the gym. Given I’ve lost a load of weight this year doing just that I absolutely agree. The warm up itself was a bit silly but got everyone laughing.
We set off about 11am and had two pubs along the way where we had rest stops before we finished in Bristol. It was of course a long walk and the rest stops were welcome! I’m glad I’d made a rice salad for the rest stops to boost our energy, this really helped and gave us a much needed energy boost along the way. We also drank copious amounts of water!
I think the cyclists along the way felt a little put out that their cycle path had been taken over by a hoard of walkers! A few were huffing and puffing as they went past. Mind you, I used to walk that path regularly on my own and they huffed and puffed at having to go past one person!
Approaching the second rest stop there was a slight hiccup with which direction to go and we took the long way round adding some mileage to our route, but we got to our destination albeit up a steep hill and in good time!
After the second rest stop we were taking the route along by the river, as we started to approach Beese’s we could hear live music as they were having an event, this was pretty motivating and we had a bit of a dance as we walked along the path!
Almost at the end we saw a group of children playing and they approached us and asked why there were lots of people wearing CLASP t-shirts. So we stopped and explained to them what we were doing and why.
It wasn’t much further from that point to reach the end, and I have to say it was rather good to sit down after walking all day! There was Subway and Krispy Kreme waiting for everyone as they arrived (I was kicking my wheat allergy at this point)!
Our walking wasn’t over though, we had to walk to the bus stop, then it was two buses home, then a 15 minute walk from the bus stop to home, which isn’t much unless you’ve just spent the entire day walking! I was pretty much crawling by the time we got to our street!
But it was a fantastic day, and we did it!