Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
10:18 AM 13th May 2020

Leeds Samaritans Calling For Local People To Take On ‘Samarathon’

Leeds Samaritans is inviting supporters to run, jog or walk a marathon in their own time and at their own pace to fundraise for their branch.  A focus on keeping fit to promote positive mental wellbeing ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week from 18-24 May 2020.

Leeds Samaritans has launched Samarathon (, a virtual marathon, as an exciting fundraising initiative that encourages supporters to run, jog or walk a marathon distance in their own time over the month of July.

Leeds Samaritans wants to motivate more people to get active to improve their mental wellbeing, rather than focus on a single physical endurance challenge that requires participants to run 26.2 miles in one stretch. That’s why Samarathon invites Leeds residents to take on this marathon challenge at their own pace.

The Branch Director at Leeds said:

"While we don’t know how long we’ll be observing social distancing and Government guidance on daily exercise, this is a challenge you can do on your own, with members of your household, or join with friends, family and work mates virtually, supporting each other’s progress wherever you are."

“Now more than ever we know getting active works wonders for your mental wellbeing. Samarathon is a great goal to motivate people to go at that their own pace. Whatever your age or ability, it’s a challenge to do in your time, at your pace, wherever you live or work. This fitness fundraising initiative is focused on feeling good. We hope supporters will encourage their friends and family of all ages to take part as it’s an achievable challenge they can share and enjoy.”  

“In this current climate we really need the public’s continued support. Due to the cancellation of many of our fundraising events, we’re facing a significant loss of funding, so we’re urging the public to help us ensure that we continue to be here for anyone who needs support. Its free to sign up to Samarathon, but we’d love for everyone to raise whatever they can to support their local branch of Samaritans and help us be there for anyone struggling to cope.” 
Supporters can sign up for free at to take part in the challenge that launches just days before the start of Mental Health Awareness Week. With this year’s theme of ‘kindness’, Samaritans is calling on people to be kind to themselves, to get active and boost their wellbeing, as well as be kind enough to raise valuable funds to ensure Samaritans can deliver a critical service.    
Leeds Samaritans listening volunteer, Laura Huntington who has a love of running, has signed up to Samarathon. She said:

“I love running as it helps me stay focused and achieve my goals. I also find it helps relax and is something that I really enjoy doing and also forms part of my daily exercise routine. I have recently completed the Virgin Money 2.6 challenge to help raise money for my branch where I ran around 81 miles in 23 days. The plan was just to hit 54 in the original lockdown period for 3 weeks, but I just kept going!

This will be my second Samarathon as I completed it last year on a 23.2 mile walk with our other branch volunteers. That atmosphere was simply amazing and it was something great that we all achieved together as a team. I'm looking forward to seeing what I can achieve with this year's Samarathon".

If you'd like to sponsor Laura and support the Leeds branch, the link to her fundraising page is here: