Smile for a mile during Mental Health Awareness Week

Business Comms

"We are so grateful for the support shown by Reach to The Mater Foundation. Each donation has a direct impact on our team working on the frontline and on our most vulnerable patients. It has been a difficult few months, and as our hospital moves towards its Covid Recovery phase, our doctors, nurses and medical staff must continue to care for patients with Covid-19 and many other with life-threatening conditions. The support shown by Reach will help the Mater recover and rebuild, allowing staff to give every patient the best care possible.‚Äč"

- Tom Hickey, Head of Fundraising and Communications, The Mater Foundation

At a time of social distancing and WFH, Reach staff came together virtually to walk the coastal distance of the island of Ireland as part of a Mental Health Awareness Week initiative that also supported our health services in the north and south in the fight against coronavirus.

While staff across our three offices in Belfast, Cork and Dublin got their steps in back in May - which was when Mental Health Awareness Week took place - the company did its bit this week by making monetary donations to NHS Charities Together and to the HSE through the Mater Foundation, which has joined with a group of Ireland’s leading Hospitals in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Cavan to support frontline workers.

Smile for a Mile’ was the brainchild of our Head of Development Laura Hennessy who organised the week-long initiative during the peak of the coronavirus outbreak “to foster physical and mental health benefits while also ensuring the team felt connected during what has been a difficult time.”

“We wanted to build on our team spirit by creating a collaborative feeling that required a big team effort and knowing our health services would benefit also was the only incentive we needed”, she said.

“The target distance was 899 miles/1,448km and the team collectively managed 1,212 miles/1,951km in the end - a goal that could not have been achieved by one person but only by the endeavours of our entire team across our three offices.”

Over the course of the week, participating staff members entered the number of steps they individually walked each day into a tracker which then calculated the total distance walked, plotted on an interactive map of Ireland that we could check each day to stay motivated towards achieving our target!