Co-facilitators of Bipolar UK’s Blackpool Peer Support Group, Lou and Andy, created a wonderful fundraising challenge, Bootiful Soles, during the pandemic – to get people moving and out of the house, to help with isolation and mental health during such a difficult time – all whilst raising money for Bipolar UK, a cause close to their heart.

They took on the challenge of a virtual Pan American Highway Walk in February 2021 – along a virtual Highway, through Alaska, Canada, Mexico and South America to name a few. It was created initially to motivate and increase their daily exercise. Whether that be to walk the dog on the beach, go shopping, or just to walk up and down your hallway to get an extra 50 steps – to reach the goal of 15,039 miles. A year on, they have accomplished a whopping 13,835 miles between 15 of them and have completed 92% of their challenge!

A huge well done and congratulations to Lou, Andy, all of the people who have taken part, along with their supporters. The team at Bipolar UK are extremely impressed and appreciative of their dedication. With 10% of the miles remaining, there is still some time to support Lou and Andy in their fundraising – please click here to donate to their JustGiving page – having currently raised 72% of their fundraising target! Happy walking Lou, Andy and the team!

“Being part of this walk has been a great experience. Contributing steps every day and working as part of a team to do this makes me feel like I'm achieving a greater good. It has motivated me to walk more and also exercise more which helps my mental health. I got a fitness watch which I use daily which further motivates me. I feel very fortunate to be part of this walk and this support group.” (Steffi) 

“It’s been great fun doing the pan-American highway with Bootiful Soles - seeing our progress over such an amazing distance – which I thought was absolutely impossible when we started. I thought we’d still be walking in 2024 – to finish in a year would be amazing! Walking virtually with the group has kept me going during some tough lockdowns, and made me get out into my local park every weekend. Being out, listening to the birds and watching the trees change through the seasons has been wonderful. It made me so much calmer and more connected to nature.”  (Jane)

The funds raised will help us offer vital support to over one million people in the UK living with bipolar, their friends and family. Got a fundraising question? Email us at: [email protected]. If you are interested in running for Bipolar UK we have a variety of events you can get involved with here.