Summer solstice walk raises vital funds for mental health initiative

A summer solstice walking challenge which took place from sunrise to sunset has so far raised over £1,600 which will help support those with mental health difficulties, past and present.

Organised by Burnley Leisure & Culture (BLC) in conjunction with Six Connections and Casual Minds Matter, the 17-hour, 140+ mile challenge, established in 2022, undertook a digital evolution this year with the introduction of a new free e-learning course on mental health and wellbeing.

Created by Burnley-based business process automation specialists, :automate, the free online course, available until the end of July, is powered by Meritec Group, the technology, software and services company from which six members of staff participated.

Not only has the challenge raised vital funds but it attracted in excess of 100 participants to the free course which covers what mental health is, how to spot the signs in yourself and others, how can you become mentally fitter and which also signposts individuals to local support groups, such as Six Connections.

Alex Abbey, Head of Sales and Marketing at Meritec, said: “The summer solstice walk is a brilliant initiative which provides a judgment-free platform to talk with a wide range of people about life experiences.

“Initiatives like this are devised to help break down barriers and challenge some of the negative stereotypes of mental health and we wanted to digitise the conversation to make it more accessible for those who may find it difficult talking about themselves, both on the day but also afterwards.

“We thought it was very apt and timely to make the longest day of the year a time to shine the spotlight on mental health and wellbeing and demonstrate a direct link between physical and mental health.”

Funds to support the 2023 Summer solstice walking challenge are still being welcomed at


Picture caption from left to right: The Meritec team – Amy Wigley, Georgia Nunn, James Lappin, Alex Abbey, Jayne Williams, Adam Gardner



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