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Ash Vale woman walking from Guildford to Teddington

3 minute read
Ash Vale woman walking from Guildford to Teddington

Published at 7:00am 11th May 2019.

A former patient of Farnham Road Hospital is travelling from Guildford to Teddington today - on foot!

Sarah Grace - known as Gracie (pictured left) - is making the 30 mile trek with a close friend, Catherine Roberts (pictured right), to raise funds for the mental health charity Mind.

It comes after the 43 year old from Ash Vale suffered a nervous breakdown and was admitted to the hospital last October.

She is still receiving treatment under the Community Mental Health Team.

Gracie said she had taken up walking as part of her recovery - and decided to couple that with fundraising for a charity that has helped people like her:

"I have been on the receiving end of incredible treatment that I strongly believe has contributed to keeping me alive.

"I wanted to do something to raise money for a charity that makes a difference to thousands of people and whose work is invaluable to so many, including me.

"As part of my recovery I have been walking every day. This has been one of the most effective and simple forms of therapy.

"So, along with my friend who has journeyed with me throughout this whole illness, we thought, why not put those steps to good use and help others in their recovery too."

Gracie said the start and finish points are signifcant places for her - the hospital, where she received help, and her friend's house in Teddington, where she came to the realisation she need help.

The pair are planning to leave at 9am and are hoping to finish at 6pm.

They are taking the Wey navigation - walking from the hospital to the canal path in Guildford, towards Send and Ripley to Weybridge, continuing along the Thames tow path to Kingston, through Richmond Park and ending up in Teddington.

Gracie said she's excited and nervous:

"Judging by the training walks, it's going to be tough but having my friend walking alongside me and knowing the money we raise will be used to improve the lives of people living with mental health problems throughout the UK is amazing.

"We are taking on this challenge for Mind because we really believe in their cause."

She has this advice for others like her - who might be suffering:

"Even in those tough moments - it's a bit of a cliche, but it is about putting one foot in front of the other.

"But also, I would say, access the help that's out there - know that there is help and that you're not on your own."

You can donate to Gracie's fundraising page here.

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