Local residents are encouraged to lace-up their running shoes and take part in Brentford’s biggest sporting event – while raising awareness of mental health. The event, which will take place on Sunday 12 May at Syon Park, offers an array of multi-sports activities for all the family. Run in partnership with Brentford Lock West, The Brentford Sports FEST is offering a 10k run, 5k run, relay race and 1k children’s race.
This year marks the second year of a special mental health event: a 5k mental health awareness walk in partnership with West London NHS Trust. The walk – coined a 5k ‘walk and talk’ – aims to tackle the stigma around mental health and encourage more people to talk about it while getting more active.
Michelle Nielsen, West London NHS Trust’s Occupational Therapy Technician, said: “I’m really pleased to be involved again in this annual event with Brentford FC Community Sports Trust. The 5k ‘walk and talk’ is a great opportunity to get some exercise and have a chat about whatever’s on your mind; by connecting with somebody and starting a simple conversation can really help to improve and save lives. Walking is a free and easy way to get some exercise, to help your mental and physical wellbeing, plus a great opportunity to make some new friends.”
With one in four people experiencing a mental health condition at some point in their life, the walk aims to tackle the stigma around talking about mental health and highlight how exercise can be instrumental on the road to recovery.
Angela Benjamin, who took part in the 5k walk last year, said: “I suffered from depression after the death of my two daughters. I took part in a similar event last year and it was amazing to talk to other people who are in a similar situation to me. Talking to people from all backgrounds made me realise I was not alone – raising awareness of mental health is so important.”
Formerly known as the Brentford Challenge, Brentford Sports FEST has rebranded to promote a more inclusive approach to getting active. This year will see a Primary Schools Challenge and a relay race for children – along with a 3k run for adults who are just starting to get fit. And for water lovers, adults and children can take part in an exciting paddleboarding lesson at Brentford Lock. Book your place at Brentford Sports FEST here.