After volunteering for Shout for over a year, professional health, safety and wellbeing trainer Andrew from Abergavenny took on our ‘360,000 Steps’ fundraising challenge, smashing his target by walking an incredible 378,794 steps and raising more than £570 for Shout.
We caught up with Andrew to find out more about how the month went and why he decided to take part in the challenge.
What motivated you to fundraise for Shout?
I started advertising Shout to apprentices and staff at work in May 2019 and became a Shout Volunteer in April 2020. After hearing that you were running the challenge to raise essential funds for the service I thought I'd challenge myself, as I was nowhere near those steps normally.
Did you find the challenge beneficial for your own mental health?
It was great for making myself get out before work and lunchtimes and I enjoyed some great views while hillwalking. The challenge particularly helped to improve my wellbeing during a busy month at the start of the new academic year.
What were your highlights of the month?
Watching amazing sunrises from local hills with dragon's breath cloud down below. There was something about the sun shining through the darkness at dawn and duck and getting above the clouds on a hilltop in September.
One evening finding a Brodies Legacy Rock at the trig point (or the top) of Skirrid Fawr really brought home why Shout is here. The rock had 'The sun will rise and tomorrow we must try again' painted on and instructions on the back including #BeKind and #MentalHealthAwareness, so it was very apt as I watched the sun set on that day of the challenge, knowing it would rise again tomorrow.
I was also voted a Local Covid Hero (for different volunteer roles ) and given £300 to donate to a charity of my choice, so it had to be for the challenge.
What would be your one piece of advice to help others make the most of their fundraising challenge for Shout?
Wear your free gift while out - it means friends, acquaintances and others on the hills and streets will ask about Shout!