Trio get their running shoes on for Bay half marathon fund-raiser

Torbay Weekly

South Devon Co-op Funeralcare Homes staff have stated training for the Torbay Half Marathon.

Sam Ritchie, Belinda Collins and Mike Chidgey from offices in Totnes, Torquay and Dawlish will be taking part in the event on Sunday September 12 to raise money for the mental health charity MIND.

They have begun an intensive three-month training programme to tackle the 13 mile course.

The trio, none of whom have competed before, have set up a Just Giving page to encourage customers and the general public to make donations.

Sam Ritchie, Funeral Director at Totnes, said: “It’s going well so far. We’re all fairly new to running but excited by the challenge to help raise awareness and money for MIND. It’s a cause that is very close to Co-op’s heart and carries out amazing work in communities.”

Research released by Co-op Funeralcare and YouGov last month highlighted that the pandemic has changed the nation’s attitude towards grief and death, as the tragic events of the past year have made 22 per cent of UK adults feel more comfortable in talking about grief and encouraged 54 per cent to think about their own mortality.

Bereavement can have a significant impact on mental health. Sadly, 28 per cent of those who lost a loved one unexpectedly said the unforeseen nature of the loss had a negative impact on their mental health.

Before the second UK lockdown, 77 per cent of UK adults felt they had enough support around them from their friends and family should further lockdown measures be announced.

However, just 66 per cent felt they had the right amount of support during the third UK lockdown, with 48 per cent stating they found the third lockdown worse than any of the other previous.

Sam Tyrer, Managing Director of Co-op Funeralcare, said: “It’s important that we take time to reflect on the devastating impact the tragic events of the past year have had on the nation. Communities have experienced loss on a previously unimaginable scale, so it is crucial for us to ensure adequate support is available as society begins to enter a new normality.”