Community journalism: Walk, talk and share with Mental Health Mates Reading

News from: Simone Illger (RVA Community Journalist)

On a very cold but beautifully sunny Saturday morning recently, RVA’s Community Journalist Simone Illger met up with Mental Health Mates Reading at Christchurch Bridge.

Mental Health Mates Reading is part of a UK-wide peer support group organising walks and talks for those affected by mental illness, including their families, children, friends and dogs.

Simone, who’s a wheelchair user, was delighted to discover that the route was pretty accessible, mostly along paths and pavements with the odd patch of mud. For others who are keen to ensure they have the ability to join the walk, it’s about a mile on fairly flat terrain. Walking can be done at your own pace with others – nobody gets left behind. The route venues are selected so that you can opt to stop or leave the walk at any point. Hiking boots are useful if the weather is bad, but trainers or ordinary shoes are fine.

The group meets every fortnight on a Saturday morning at 10:30 at either Christchurch Meadows or Dinton Pastures. In the summer when it’s warmer and the evenings are lighter, there are also walks on Wednesday evenings. Everyone is welcome – you don’t need to have a diagnosed mental health issue to join meet-ups.

Further information

Download the latest flyer here. For further details of upcoming walks and to ensure you are kept up to date please email
-To find out more about Mental Health Mates, you can visit the main website or follow their Facebook page dedicated to the walk details.

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