Blastoff! Lamp 5k Trip to the Moon Launches today

One small step for Lamp-kind, one giant leap for mental health.

Mental Health Awareness Week begins today and so has the Lamp 5k Trip to the Moon project.


The week-long campaign began at the National Space Centre followed by a 5k walk around Abbey Park.


Lamp (Leicestershire Action for Mental Health Project) runs the annual 5k challenge to help bring people together.


With the official theme of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week being loneliness, the 5k event, which lasts until this Sunday, encourages people to get together and take part in exercise to combat feelings of isolation.


Last year's 5k challenge aimed to get enough people doing 5k walks, runs, cycles and more to be able to collectively total the circumference of the globe. They raised more than £8,000.


This year, they've increased their target and aim to get to the moon.

Matt Barton and barefoot walker Stewart Bint with guests at the National Space Centre for the launch of the Leicester Lamp 5k Trip to the Moon mental health fundraiser
Matt Barton and barefoot walker Stewart Bint (both middle) at the National Space Centre

Matt Barton, Lamp's Corporate and Community Engagement Officer, said: "We're rocketing to the moon on a beautiful day today. We wanted to go bigger and bolder than last year and get as many people as possible to aim for a massive target in aid of mental health.


"It's a fun challenge with a serious message. People are struggling for mental health support so it's important to reach out and come together as a community."


Lamp is encouraging participants to cover 5k or more throughout the week to collectively reach 384,400km – the distance from Earth to the moon – and raise £1 for each km covered.


Participants can take on any physical activity they like such as swimming, rowing, walking the dog or even competing in a triathlon during Mental Health Awareness Week.


But there is one man who has gone barefoot in support of the project.


Author goes barefoot for mental health

Matt Barton from Lamp Charity and Leicester author Stewart Bint walk around Abbey Park in Lamp t-shirts to support the Lamp 5k Trip to the Moon fundraising initiative
Matt Barton and Stewart Bint

Local novelist Stewart Bint led the walk around Abbey Park braving the unknown surfaces he might encounter. It's a metaphor for mental health and the uncertainty of life.


"Going barefoot emphasises the message of advocacy," Matt told us.


"We're navigating him through hazardous terrain and guiding him on a safe journey. We're by his side on an unknown journey where he is vulnerable to the outside world.


"He doesn't know what he might encounter on the way or which path he'll choose but he knows that he has us by his side."


After describing the walk as a 'free reflexology session', Stewart went on say: "I've struggled with mental health myself in the past which led me to be hospitalised so this is a cause I'm keen to take part in."



Getting involved in Lamp's Trip to the Moon

Anyone of any physical ability can take part in challenge at any time throughout the week.


You can go alone and connect with nature or reach out to your neighbours and get a group together.


Each 5k covered by every individual will contribute to the distance from Earth to the moon. Lamp suggests raising £1 for each kilometre you cover.


You can download the Strava app and join Lamp's group to track and compete with people who are taking part all over the world.

 

Written by Kerry Smith

Kerry is editor of Cross Production's Niche Magazine in Leicester and has a degree in film and journalism. She writes about business news, local people, entertainment, and has a particular interest in theatre.