FUNDRAISERS in Bridgwater put their best foot forward to help raise £1m for mental health charities.

The team from Co-op stores in the town were joined on their sponsored run by the convenience retailer’s divisional managing director, Peter Batt who undertook a fundraising bid to raise £1M.

Mr Batt ran 44 miles over six days visiting stores across the South of England raising vital funds and awareness for Co-op’s charity partners: MIND (England and Wales); Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and Inspire (Northern Ireland).

One in four adults will experience a mental health problem every year, and according to Mind’s survey during the first lockdown, almost two-thirds of adults said their mental health got worse during the pandemic.

The Co-op is aiming to raise a total of £8M for its charity partners and is working closely with the charities to make a positive difference to the wellbeing of communities across the UK. Co-op funding will enable the delivery of community mental wellbeing services designed to improve people's resilience and help people cope with the ups and downs of life.

Mr Batt, said: “We have all been, or know of someone, affected by mental health in some way, shape or form and that is why I think this is an issue so close to everyone’s heart.

"Mental wellbeing in our communities is an area that needs our support. It’s also one of those issues people still find difficult to talk about, despite the fact it can affect any of us at any time.

"I have been delighted at the way the whole team has thrown themselves into raising funds and awareness to improve mental wellbeing, and really got behind this important issue to make a positive difference in our communities.”

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Peter for spearheading the Million Pound Mile campaign, and to store colleagues across the South of England who will be lacing up their trainers and preparing to rack up the miles alongside him, or holding fundraising events, all for better mental health.

“It continues to be a challenging time and many of us will be feeling the lasting impact of the pandemic on our mental health and wellbeing, especially for those of us with existing mental health problems. Now, more than ever, we need to ensure we are there for everyone who needs us.

“Thanks to Co-op colleagues for their energy and enthusiasm in raising funds and awareness through this charity partnership, we will be able to reach even more people in need of support, particularly in communities.”