Staff and students from both Tretherras and Treviglas have completed the second of 12 charity walks.
Mr Grahaeme Jones and Mr Dave Nicholls walked the full length of The Camel Trail (starting ahead of the official starting point of the trail) walking from Wenford Bridge to the end at Padstow, resulting in a walk of 18 miles in total. Combined with their first walk in November, Mr Jones and Mr Nicholls have now walked a total distance of 35 miles so far – and they have another 10 walks planned.
Mr Nicholls said: “It was a fantastic walk. We were expecting poor weather conditions, especially considering the low temperatures and the snow in other parts of the country. However, even though it was very cold, the weather was particularly good with only some light rain as we got close to Padstow. The Camel Trail is a fantastic walk and is perfect for people who are experienced in long-distance walking or are completely new to walking these long distances. We had a brilliant day out, surrounded by the wonders of nature.”
The #WalkThisWay project started as Grahaeme, who is the Lead Teacher of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural studies at Newquay Tretherras, was doing some research into male mental health whilst planning an assembly to promote the school’s annual Movember campaign. Mr Jones said: “I was shocked and saddened to discover that suicide is now the biggest single cause of death in men under the age of 49 – bigger than heart disease, or different forms of cancer. The figures indicate that an average of 12 men take their own lives every day. I found that to be a terribly tragic number.”
Several teaching and support staff decided to get together to do a series of 12 walks, to raise funds for two charities (Movember and CALM that offer specialist support and advice for men who have mental health concerns) and to raise awareness of the issue – to encourage men to have those important conversations, and to seek professional advice where appropriate. The team decided to set themselves the challenge of 12 walks that would each be a minimum of 12 miles in length, reflecting the statistic that shocked the team into taking action. They are now aiming to build up to an ambitious 24-hour walk from Land’s End to Newquay in November 2018, to mark the end of the year-long project.
Mr Jones and Mr Nichollse were joined on the Camel Trail walk by John Griffin, who has had considerable experience of distance walking, and Dominic Doyle, who is a student from Treviglas Community College. Dom is working towards his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award, so this was an excellent training walk. Completing the team was Will Nicholls who is a Newquay Tretherras student and also the Member of Youth Parliament for the Newquay and St Austell constituency. Will was voted as our MYP in a vote of under 18s across the constituency.
Will, who is himself an experienced walker, said: “Mental Health is an extremely important subject for young people, who often have to cope with varying demands from friends, family and things like school whilst often trying to figure out their place in life. In Parliament, we had an opportunity to debate about the rights of LGBTQ+ young people – figures suggest that mental health problems and attempted suicides are higher in LGBTQ young people. I am really pleased to be able to show my support for the mental health of young people by taking on this challenge.”
The team is now working on putting together the final plans for walk number three that is scheduled to take place in January 2018. They are aiming to take on a walk from the North Coast of Cornwall across country to the South Coast. Further details of the route for walk and the proposed date will be released soon.
The #WalkThisWay team has established a Just Giving fundraising page, (https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/Walk-This-Way) and you can choose to donate money to either Mr Jones’s charity (Movember) or Mr Nicholls’s charity (Campaign Against Living Miserably). More information about “Walk This Way” can be found at the project’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/walkthiswaytalkthisway/), on the Tretherras Website (www.tretherras.net) and also on the Tretherras / NT Character and NT Wellbeing Facebook pages.