Senior councillors in Northumberland are among those showing their support for mental health awareness this month.
The leader and deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, along with two cabinet members have joined RED January, a community initiative that encourages people to support their mental health by doing something active every single day.
Coun Cath Homer, cabinet member with responsibility for sport and leisure, signed up to the initiative and then encouraged fellow cabinet members to follow suit.
She said: “January is often a difficult month for many people and the opportunity to increase fitness at the same time as increasing awareness of the link between physical activity and improved mental health was too good an opportunity to ignore.
“Having colleagues join in gives added encouragement, particularly on hectic and difficult days. I have been cycling, swimming and participating in fitness classes and feel so much better already. It's not too late to join us.”
Council Leader Peter Jackson said: “This is a great cause to support. While my work at the council does involve a lot of office work and sitting in meetings I have been doing my bit by doing regular brisk walking and other forms of activity in my spare moments.”
Meanwhile Deputy Leader Wayne Daley is using the network of walkways in Cramlington and following some of the prescribed 2, 4 and 6 mile walk routes.
He said: “This is a great way of doing a bit extra by using existing walking routes - especially around Cramlington which is ready made for this”
Coun Nick Oliver, cabinet nember for corporate services, added: “I’m playing football, walking, and cycling and on the days I can’t do any of that I’m rowing on a machine. A third of the way through and I already feel better apart from a lot of aching muscles.”
RED January Mind runs in an exclusive partnership with mental health charity MIND, and aims to provide participants with an extra goal and a focus in a characteristically tough month.
In 2018, the RED community raised over £1 million towards Mind’s vital work of providing information, advice and support while campaigning for a better deal and respect for everyone experiencing a mental health problem.
Peter, Wayne, Cath and Nick are fundraising for Northumberland and Tyneside Mind. Anyone wishing to make a donation can go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ncc4