In a town near you…Boom!
Look, this really isn’t going to work unless you do the voice…you know, the THIS SUMMER…voice…
Right, you’ll remember, earlier this year I threw out the idea, to you walkamilers, of having an event prior to my return to the sacred ramble this summer.
As well as my own startling brilliance, you fine folk came up with a bunch of great ideas that, with some more thought and a bit of tweaking, could take the whole walkamile gig a bit further.
Take a look at these, and let me know what you think…and no, commenting on anything doesn’t oblige you into action.
Walkamile Rebooted – The Event
To reiterate – my lovely friend, Donna, is soon to be the proud owner of a community centre in the town of my birth, Corby. Together we’ve come up with the idea to have some manner of relaunch event to help plan for what’s next for Walk a Mile in my Shoes.
I see it as a gathering of unlikeminded people – folk from all walks of life – some involved with mental health in whatever guise that may be – and some not. My overarching aim for this unlikely bunch is to explore how we can combat the stigma, often born out of ignorance, of mental health.
From this wonderfully creative process, I’d like to use some of the ideas generated to work out what’s next for our little endeavour.
The idea here…wankword alert…is to use the practicality of this task as a third object for the participants to work together.
I’ll clarify with a bit of an example here…I once worked as a nursing assistant in a hospital for folk with mental maladies. I worked with a guy who wasn’t terribly keen on sitting in a room talking to me for hours on end…so I came up with a cunning plan.
He liked to play football – I liked to play football…he didn’t get much of an opportunity for this in institutional care – so, for a couple of hours a day, he and I would dazzle each other with our soccer skills (to be honest, he was significantly more dazzling than me) while we talked about his mental health, plans for his discharge from hospital and his hopes and dreams.
This worked a treat – he was able to talk whilst that wasn’t the main focus, or didn’t seem to be the main focus of our time together.
In amongst all this talking, Donna has ideas for music, poetry and other forms of artistic expression to grease the wheels of creativity.
Walkamile the Walk
Overall, I’m trying out the thought of making Walkamile into a charity, to provide a more structured infrastructure
to aid in the endeavour.
I’ll continue with the walk, launching forth from Porthmadog in Wales, talking to people, spreading the word, challenging mental health stigma one conversation at a time…whilst blagging hospitality from the good folk of the UK as I go.
There’s scope to develop this by coordinating walks with individual folk or groups with the intention to hear and share their stories.
There’s also the idea to get folk to walk a mile anywhere in the UK, and to tell us about it…why they’re walking, with photos, films and/ or stories about what got them to where they are today.
This may or may not involve some manner of fundraising for the ramble.
Walkamile The Podcast
This could be another way to spread the word. My thoughts are, currently, that we, yes, we, you and me, could share the responsibility for presenting and interviewing folk from all areas of society…producing a mental health themed podcast once a week (might be ambitious) or monthly, distributing it via iTunes and YouTube etc.
Walkamile The Blog
The aim is for this to continue, with the possibility of asking for voluntary contributions, again to oil the wheels of our industry.
The Great Walkamile Shoeswap
The idea here is for folk – yes, you – to send your shoes and the story of you and your footwear on video or photo or written word, to a central point from where you can expect to be the recipient of something similar donated by someone else. You can wear those shoes for a day, week, for however long you want to, and then share your thoughts about the other person’s tale.
The Walkamile Shoe Auction
Yes, this is blatant fundraising.
Are you, or do you know anyone in a public position – celebrity or otherwise, someone who is willing to part with some meaningful footwear to have it auctioned for funds for walkamile?
In a similar fashion to the Shoeswap, I’d like there to be a back story attached to anything donated.
Walkamile Talks – to universities/ schools/ workplaces/ any manner of gathering of folk…
This, like all of the above, doesn’t have to be me – we’re all in this together…
For this to work well, I think, some manner of coordination is required. In my ideal, Pollyanna, world, some manner of central person could ensure the right people turn up at the right place at the right time.
I’d be happy to do this for free – however – realistically, in a similar ideal world, a minimum of costs would need to be covered. However, that, for me anyway, could be done in that typical, walkamiley stylie of winging it.
Walkamile the movie
Last, and by no means least, the film of the ramble would ideally have some funding chucked at it – for the final bits of production and distribution and the like.
So, really there isn’t much to do…
This is my fantasy ideal – it could be more – it could be less – or something in between.
Thanks to everyone for their ideas and help with this.
What do you want to do?
Walk a mile