June saw a truly unique event being brought to life thanks to the incredible energy and efforts of the whole PureGym team. Read Katie Legg, Director of Strategy and Partnerships at Mental Health UK, reflections on our partnership with PureGym.
Over seven days, 1,500 of staff and personal trainers from PureGym took part in an epic journey. A baton relay from Aberdeen to Plymouth taking in all 235+ gyms, around the clock by any means of human power. Celebrating Puregym’s 10th anniversary and raising £320,000 and counting for Mental Health UK on the way.
Just like us, PureGym recognises the intrinsic benefits of being physically healthy on one’s mental health and as the fastest growing gym chain in the UK, they saw the opportunity to #ShareTheWeight and open up the conversation with their thousands of staff, PTs and members and make a huge difference to others on the way. How gyms have engaged with the conversation has been lead by them and quite diverse – ranging from sharing their personal stories to joining webinars about mental health. Their appetite to learn more about mental health has been astounding.
The National Relay has been a huge challenge for everyone involved. Putting the relay itself aside, with just four months from the beginning of the partnership to finishing the event, engaging everyone in mental health required us to take time and allow everyone to engage in their own way. For Mental Health Awareness week we co-created the #ShareTheWeight campaign, encouraging people to work together inside the gym as well as when talking about mental health, we held webinars and Facebook live events with staff and PTs, and shared with them information to help their discussions with each other and members in the gyms.
As someone who has spent the best part of my career in sport, I know this partnership has been special. I felt the passion and drive from the whole team listening to inspiring leaders like Humphrey, PureGym’s CEO, opening the event alongside Sir Chris Hoy who shared his passion for mental health and his cycling expertise to the cycling team. To be at the start line with 3,000 miles on the clock, knowing that 1,500 people were lined up down the country to pass on the baton was truly amazing. The team ran, walked, cycled, kayaked, conga’d and leap frogged their way to the finish, working as a team and sharing the weight.
No matter where we work, or what we do, poor mental health affects 1 in 4 of us every year, fact. So however you feel you could engage your colleagues, there is a way. And it doesn’t have to include leap frogging!