01/01/16 2016 is going to be Our Year

  
A million followers…just imagine…whoops, sorry, wrong blog…

So, here I am, still laid up with my twisted ankle. Now’s as good a time as any to let you know what’s going to be happening in the Walkamile world this year. 

On a basic level, I’m getting lighter and fitter (walking between 8 and 12 miles daily) in preparation for returning to Porthmadog sometime around May. So it would be lovely if you can allow yourself to think about hospitable folk you know out that way…no rush though…

There’ll be the usual blogging, photos and stories about the all round loveliness of folk. As ever, I’ll be more than happy to have company as I wander about the place. I’m also toying with the idea of having a regular Periscope moment in the day where we can all have a chat…

On a more business-like tone, Walkamile will become a charity with the aim of offering a more secure infrastructure to all our shenanegans. 

‘What shenanegans might they be, Chris?’ I hear you cry.

Well, if you’d just let me get on and tell you without interrupting…yes, I appreciate this is an imagined interruption – and now here I am having an imagined interruption about an imagined interruption…as well as the above, there’ll be…

On the 20th of April, in conjunction with SeeMe Scotland, we’ll be having, hopefully, 4 Walkamile events running at the same time around Scotland. The main one, which I’ll be bowling up to, will be in Glasgow. 

As with the lovely Edinburgh event last year we’ll be inviting folk with experience of mental maladies, folk who’ve been carers and any professionals who may have worked in this area. Oh, and the friends and families of all the above.

We’ll give folk T-shirts and coerce er, cajole, encourage everyone to pair up and walk a mile with someone they don’t know. People can then share their experiences by taking pictures/ sharing their stories on the website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

That all looks a bit like this

I’m really looking forward to it all.

The Walkamile film, that’s being edited by the lovely Johanna Wagner as we speak will be ready in 2 stages this year…

First of all, we’ll have the shortened, 45 minute, version of her film of the walk around the edge of the U.K. that will be shown at the events in April. 

Secondly, the full length version of the film will be screened at the 10th Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival in September. 

Here’s a trailer to give you a flavour of what it’s all about 

We’ll be starting a crowdfunding campaign in the near future to enable us to make that deadline. 

This year (BOOM) in a town near you (BOOM) sorry, I’ve got a terrible habit of arsing around, we’ll have marked out Walkamile walks, funded by SeeMe, where folk can do a Walkamile mile in their own time. 

If folk feel the urge, they can record their walk in any way that’s meaningful to them to share their experience through Facebook or Twitter using #letswalkamile 

We’re hoping to develop Walkamile talks and workshops around the place – village halls – organisations – schools – universities – too – with the charity set up it would be lovely to have some manner of admin skilled individual to help facilitate that. 

In the meantime though, I’ll be lying here with my sore ankle. I might be able to milk it for a couple of days…

If any of the above floats your boat – please get in touch – we’re always looking for folk to walk, to volunteer or to just join up to be part of this lovely thing…

You can tweet me here @walkamileuk 

You can join the Facebook group here

Or you can email me here c.mcculloughyoung@yahoo.co.uk

I’ll be posting up the exact times and locations of the upcoming events here 

– there’s also our short shiny video there that tells you about some of the whys and wherefores behind the events.

Walk a mile is all about challenging stigma one conversation at a time. I’m at war with nobody. 

If people use the ‘wrong’ language that’s fine. I use the wrong language all the time from other’s perspectives. 

It’s about changing attitudes. If language changes along with attitudes then that would be dandy. If not, well, we’ll just have to keep on talking. 

Remember, first and foremost, people are fabulous. I nearly said ‘I’ve demonstrated that time and again’

In actual fact, PEOPLE have proven it time and time again. 

Anyway, I’m going off on one…

Walk a mile

Chris 

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