There's something special about walking at night; when even the most familiar of paths becomes another world; a dream world, where you can only see as far as the beam of your head torch will let you.
A few weeks ago, walkers from 8 – 80 rediscovered their local trails under the veil of night time in a Night Walk organised by the the Cameron Grant Memorial Trust. The charity was founded by Carol and Evan Grant to raise awareness of young suicide and depression in the wake of the suicide of their 21-year-old son Cameron. They organise this yearly Night Walk to celebrate Cameron’s birthday; with participants donning head torches and high vis jackets to walk the 7.5 km loop through the countryside local to Hampton-in-Arden, Solihull. In its third year, the event is a fitting tribute to Cameron who enjoyed every moment spent out in the countryside, as Carol and Evan explain:
“Our son Cameron loved the outdoors, and he particularly enjoyed the night walks he did with Scouts…We do this to remember Cameron, to raise awareness of young suicide, and to encourage all who are suffering in silence to speak up and ask for help.”
Cameron’s parents had been hoping for 150 Night Walkers; however the response was overwhelming and as many as 241 participants joined them for the Night Walk – doubling the turnout of the previous year. Night Walkers included families, youth clubs, 6th form students, the Solihull Ramblers and some of the Heart of England Nordic Walking, and they all had a fantastic time (if their feedback is anything to go by).
“[My favourite moments were] looking back at a long twinkling line of head torches, watching aircraft coming in to land, wondering what we looked like from above.”
Despite some taking a wrong turn or two, the walkers enjoyed the opportunity to get out into the countryside despite the dark evenings:
“It was really interesting to navigate the familiar without recognising it; the organisation was good and the atmosphere uplifting.”
“I’ve never really walked at night - it’s a lovely experience”
Carol and Evan will continue to raise awareness of young suicide and show support to those who are suffering in silence through events such as the Night Walk and Aviva Community Fund website to vote.
With unanimous support from the night walkers surveyed, the date has been set for the 4th annual Night Walk on 12th October 2018, if this year’s turnout is anything to go by – they’re going to need a few more head torches!
The Alpkit Foundationsupports projects that enable people to overcome the obstacles preventing them from Going Nice Places and Doing Good Things.