The Bay’s Calum Richardson talks about his MS Walk and the Importance of Mental Wellbeing

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April 11, 2022

Calum Richardson’s Miles for MS walk and the importance of mental wellbeing


Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month? Not all disabilities are visible, and with mental health issues affecting so many people, it’s so important to normalise conversations around it, and where we can look for help.

 

This month, we’d love to focus on the importance of mental wellbeing and a subject very close to our hearts – multiple sclerosis (MS). Here to tell us more, and to talk about his plan to take part in ‘Miles for MS’ (a walk organised by the MS Trust) with his wife Viktorija (who is also the Business Development Manager at The Bay) is Calum.

 

 

Hi Calum, we’d love to know more about the 100 mile MS walk that you’ll be taking part in… Is your sister your inspiration to take on the walk?

Yes she is. Her name is Karen and she’s had MS for 15 years, but in the past 7 months, it’s become progressive. I’m doing the walk for her.

Miles for MS’ is a distance challenge organised by the MS Trust to raise sponsorship to support people living with MS. Whether it’s half a mile, or 100 miles, it’s up to those signing up to decide how far they want to go, and do it their way.

 

Can you tell us a bit more about your sister?

Karen is 3 years older than me. We’re very close and I am so proud of her. She works for NHS Scotland as a senior charge nurse and is devoted to her job but this horrible disease has turned her life upside down.

 

How are you and Vik preparing / training for the MS walk? Is there anyone else coming along with you?

The decision to do the walk was a very personal one, and when I spoke about it, Vik’s cousin asked to do the walk too. This led to Viktorija deciding to do the walk too and it is now a real family gathering!

 

Do you have a fundraising goal?

It was £500 but I raised that in an hour! So I’m aiming for £2000 now.

 

 

When is the walk happening? What is the route and how long is it expected to take?

I’m actually doing the walk in April, Monday, 18/04/2022 to be precise. I’ll be doing it at West Highland Way (starting at Milngavie) and I’m aiming to walk 96miles (154km) to Fort William, with camping along the way.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

 

Signing up for this walk has really made me think about how this is not only a great way to raise funds and awareness for a fantastic cause, it’s also so good for our mental wellbeing to get out and about. A hearty walk, being in nature and doing something to help others really is good for the soul!

 

How are you putting health and wellbeing first?

For me, it’s about time management. Everyone says they don’t have time to do things but when you look at life, there is always time, we just need to plan ahead a bit more and prioritise doing things that boost our mental wellbeing!

 

 

Do you have any advice for those struggling with their mental health?

Seek help! Whether you start by talking to a friend or your doctor, don’t be scared to reach out and ask. It’s better to talk and let things out rather than bottling things up. And really try to instil positive thoughts.

 

What tips would you give someone wanting to prioritise their wellbeing?

Just get started. Little steps first… get up an hour earlier every day and go to bed an hour earlier every day. Watch less TV and reduce your social media time.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

We’ve all got to look after ourselves first. When you get on the plane, they tell you to fit your own oxygen mask first for a reason!

 

 

Can you tell us a bit more about the passion behind advocating for disability rights?

With my sister having MS, it opened my eyes to the fact that not all disabilities are visual. People should not judge the book by its cover. Just because someone isn’t in a wheelchair, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have a disability.

 

 

How do you think people should treat those with invisible disabilities?

People need to respect each other. Everyone has different problems. People should be more willing to help, to be kind, and not jump in with assumptions.

 

What can we do to raise awareness of all disabilities?

The internet gives us information at the touch of our fingertips, we should use that. Do some research, learn more. For example, a lot of people don’t know about Autism lanyards, but it could make a huge difference for people with invisible disabilities if they could perhaps use a lanyard? Within hospitality I think it’s important that everyone can identify these things to make experiences better, no matter who you are.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Always remember that we all have our battles, and whether a person is trying to look after their wellbeing or they’re dealing with a disability, they have a family. They are a mum, dad, sister, brother, grandad.

We’d love to say a big thank you to Calum for his time today and don’t forget, you can show your support by following Calum’s journey online via The Bay’s facebook or twitter page. You can also make a donation to Calum’s Just Giving page, where his aim is to raise £2000 for the MS Trust.

If you’d like to know more about Stress Awareness Month, please visit The Stress Management Society’s website, which is packed with useful information on how to manage stress and improve your wellbeing. You can also find out more about the Miles for MS walk over at the MS Trust’s website.


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