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Access Group staff raise more than £50,000 after walking 126 miles from London to Loughborough

Access Group staff raise more than £50,000 after walking 126 miles from London to Loughborough

Employees from The Access Group have raised more than £50,000 after walking 126 miles from the firm’s office in Aldgate, Central London to its flagship office in Loughborough, Leicestershire as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

The group of 14 staff from across The Access Group’s UK offices covered the distance in a week and the company will match the £26,000 raised so far for the company’s chosen charity for 2022 - Bipolar UK.

Jessica Forbes-Ritte, who works as a team leader at Loughborough’s Centre of Excellence and came up with the idea, said the challenge was tough but hoped to raise awareness of bipolar and the struggles faced by those who are diagnosed with it.

“Just hearing about what people with bipolar have to go through, waiting 10 years to get a diagnosis, is totally shocking, and was a huge motivation for the team to complete our challenge. It’s such a long time and Mental Health Awareness Week is a great time to raise awareness of it.

“The whole group have all had their own mental health struggles over the years and the mental side of this challenge was just as tough as the physical side of it, so we just want to get the message out there that mental health is just as important as physical health.”

The team set off last Monday (9 May) and only stopped to eat and sleep at hotels along the way.

They crossed the finish line in Loughborough on Friday afternoon where they were greeted with a fanfare from colleagues and representatives from Bipolar UK.

Simon Kitchen, CEO at Bipolar UK, said:

"Bipolar UK is delighted to be The Access Group's charity of the year. This five-day walk is going to raise an astonishing amount of money to help us support more people with bipolar. Just as importantly, it will also raise awareness and encourage understanding of this complex condition.”

The 126 mile walk is just one of a number of fundraising efforts, including ultramarathons and skydiving challenges, from across The Access Group. On Saturday 14 May, Jo Smith, head of brand marketing, climbed Snowdon to raise more funds for Bipolar UK, and Marcus Dacombe, head of product marketing for Access Legal, began a 108 mile walk around Dartmouth on Monday (16 May).

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