Chairman’s hike for health and happiness

The Chairman of Malvern Hills District Council is planning to walk the length of the district to raise money for mental health groups.

Cllr John Raine will complete on average a half marathon every day, as he covers 130 miles during his Hike for Health and Happiness. His ambition is to cover every ward in the district over ten days between 1 and 10 of September.

He will be starting in Lindridge in the north of the district before finishing the challenge in his own ward of West Malvern.

On the way Cllr Raine will be taking in some distinctive landmarks, meeting residents and community groups and even stopping to play an organ recital or two.

He will be accompanied by his wife Susan and other councillors will be joining him for part of the route as he passes through their ward.

It’s not the first time Cllr Raine has attempted something on this scale. He has previously completed the 192 mile Coast to Coast walk and completed the 177 mile Offa’s Dyke path along the English/Welsh border.

Not only will Cllr Raine be aiming to raise a significant amount of money for three local mental health organisations – Positive Thoughts, Link Nurseries Therapy and Jigsaw – but he also hopes the event will help challenge the stigma around mental health issues and raise awareness.

In Worcestershire alone 70,000 adults and 7,000 children are living with mental ill health at any one time.

Cllr Raine said: “I’ve seen the devastating effect mental ill health has had on friends of my mine and how at times it’s been difficult to get the support they need.

“One in four of us will be affected by mental ill health at any one time and if we are then we shouldn’t be ashamed of that. We wouldn’t be afraid to talk about our broken leg or some other aspect of our physical health and the same should be true of mental health.

“I hope by doing this I will not only raise a lot of money for some good causes to help them continue to support people with mental ill health but it will also get people talking about the subject and to challenge the stigma around it.

“It’s also a great opportunity to get out and see the district and meet as many people as possible and I’m very much looking forward to it.”

To support Cllr Raine visit to donate. To keep up to date with John’s preparations ahead of the event and for updates while he completes the route, follow him on Twitter @hiking4health or visit the Malvern Hills District Council Facebook page.

The route Cllr Raine will be taking is available to view by visiting