“We walk and run for many different diseases, but the Lost Hours Walk is dedicated to suicide prevention. It’s important to me to campaign and help people understand that your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
“There’s something powerful about walking through the night when the pain starts to set into your body. It almost mimics what many people go through with their mental wellbeing - that feeling that you’re in pain but you can keep going. I feel like the Lost Hours Walk encapsulates that emotion.”
This year walkers are planning their own routes across the country, choosing when, where and how far they walk. It’s not about the miles walked, but about uniting against suicide - a fact that really resonates with Shareefa.
“I really believe that there’s no better feeling than doing something for your community. When it comes to setting yourself a goal, there’s no judgement, it’s about taking part."
"Whether it’s a brisk 3 mile walk with friends, or 26 miles, always remember you can take it at your own pace and it’s not a competition.”
Shareefa is a seasoned Lost Hours Walker and having tackled 26 miles around London Marathon, she has some advice for the day (or night) of your walk. From packing practical items such as waterproofs, water and a first aid kit, to a speaker and scrummy snacks to keep you and your team pumped - preparation is key.
Of course, training will also make your walk a bit easier, something Shareefa learned the hard way on her first Lost Hours Walk:
“I didn’t train because I thought ‘umm walking? I can do that with my eyes closed!’ but I really can’t stress enough the importance of training walks. This time I’ll be doing a walk each day, increasing the distance and getting my body strong and prepared.”
While you may find public toilets along the way, she also recommends planning for the inevitable. We’re only human after all!