Preston’s ‘Running Mayor’ Sam Tyrer is taking practical steps to improve the mental health of his community, providing a voice to champion running across the city.Advertisement
He is training to become an elite ultra-runner, and will soon be attempting a record in April running along the Ribble Way.
Sam Tyrer is the founder of a service called Change Talks, which offers mental health education to 11-21 year olds.
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This service has reached over 40,000 young people since the beginning of 2018 and it continues to go from strength to strength.
Sam is also the co-host of a weekly webinar series called the Mental Health Family Hour, which has recently received national recognition from the Prime Minister.
The Points of Light Award was given to Sam and his co-host for their work throughout the lockdown to support peoples mental health through their weekly webinar series. Sam is also the Prevention and Engagement Lead at Lancashire and South Cumbria Foundation Trust.
Running Mayors are promoting running as a form of active travel, positioning it as a viable alternative to jumping in the car for short errands and local trips, as well as running for leisure and sport.
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The Running Mayors Network is an initiative of the RunSome campaign. Led by Runners World, Active Things and a coalition of leading running brands and organisations, RunSome is urging government to include running in its £2bn active travel funding alongside walking and cycling.
With a quarter of a million people across the UK already running everyday journeys, RunSome wants to double that number within the next 12 months, whilst delivering a timely boost to mental and physical health.
Running Mayors will be encouraging locals to run as it’s cheap, typically twice as fast as walking and is often faster than driving in congested cities. It also has a low carbon footprint and helps mental and physical health.
If the UK’s 11 million runners ran just one or two everyday journeys a week rather than drive, it would be significant, enabling people to navigate cities more healthily and sustainably.
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As individuals and as a network, the Running Mayors will make the case to city leaders and mayors for why runners – too often invisible in discussions about how we live and move – need to feature in their planning and design of places and services, not least in terms of active travel.
The Running Mayors will also work with other local stakeholders to champion a range of topics that they care deeply about.
For many that also includes improving safety and security for women when running, walking and cycling, be that through better lighting, upgrading routes and pavements or buddying up schemes.
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Sam said: “I am pleased to be a Running Mayor for Preston as this is the place I have grown up.
“I am passionate both about running, being active and helping our local community become healthier.
“My main focus is to encourage more young people to be active, as we all may have seen there has been an increase in demand for mental health services.
“Being active is one of the five ways to wellbeing and I believe it can help us all with our mental health. I intend to host events around Preston when the current situation allows, which will educate the community on both mental and physical health.”
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Proud Preston. This, and many stories like it, show how the people of Preston are making a difference. Our Proud Preston section showcases all the charitable, kind, uplifting and great things about our city and the people who live here. #ProudPreston is alive and well, and there’s much to celebrate and be proud of, despite the challenging times we all face.
Have you taken up running in lockdown? Do you feel like it’s had a positive impact on your mental health? Let us know in the comments below.