Our Customer Service Officer, Rachel Mannings, recently summitted mount Snowdon in aid of the mental health charity, MIND. Rachel, who is one of a number of colleagues at Grand Union raising money for the charity, took up the challenge after being inspired by her own experience with poor mental health. She chose to support MIND in particular because our Chief Executive and current president of the Chartered Institute of Housing, Aileen Evans, supports the charity via her presidential campaign. Below Rachel speaks about her experience.
“Joined by my husband, Martin, we were thrilled to complete the trek up and down the mountain in an impressive four hours 49 minutes. We were even more pleased to raise more than £450 for Mind.
The challenge was very tough, but we were determined not to take the train on the way back down the mountain. And, while the weather was pretty chilly at the top, I was pleased we could finally complete the fundraiser. We were supposed to do it in May but because of coronavirus we had to reschedule.
I’m determined to raise money for Mind, a charity which Grand Union has been working with over the past year to raise awareness of mental health issues. I’ve worked here for more than 16 years and my colleagues were very supportive when I wasn’t doing so well mentally, and of my fundraiser.
After several physical illnesses, my mental health took a turn for the worst last year. I lost my confidence and wasn’t coping well.
I often turned to Mind’s website to read stories from those affected by mental health issues. Over time, I learned to talk more about how I’m doing, to exercise more and to take regular breaks to prevent me becoming overwhelmed.
I found that having something to aim for, particularly the Snowdon challenge, really helped me. Now, I feel physically and mentally stronger than ever and I’ve turned my life around.
I’m relived to work at Grand Union where mental health is taking very seriously and where we can be open about our feelings, should we wish to be. It’s especially important at the moment, during the testing times of the coronavirus pandemic.”