In February 2021, Annie Summun of London Master Builder company Kisiel Group Ltd pledged to walk 100km in support of the The Lighthouse Club. Her goal was to raise £290 for the charity; enough to support their free helpline - which provides construction employers and employees with confidential emotional and wellbeing support - for 24 hours.
Annie’s 100km journey
Reflecting on the reasons for starting the challenge, Annie states on her JustGiving page:
“I am swapping my construction boots for a pair of walking boots. Although I am really a reluctant fair-weather walker, a fellow Master Builder has inspired me to walk 100km during February. As getting out for a daily walk is good for your mental health, I thought it would be good to raise some money at the same time for The Lighthouse Club.”
Annie began documenting her journey to 100km on 1 February, with the initial 5.27km traversed across her local golf club. Whilst the venue itself was closed at the time due to lockdown restrictions, Annie was allowed to kick off her challenge in the grounds.
She braved cold weather to record her first chapter in the journey, one that was made slightly longer than initially planned due to getting lost on the fairway, nonetheless she described it as “a good start to the challenge”.
She went on to provide daily updates on her journey featuring a variety of locations, occasionally with socially distanced travel companions of both the human and animal variety.
Come rain, sleet or shine Annie was always up for the challenge, with plenty of captivating scenery documented along the way and shared with those following her progress.
Reaching 100km and beyond
Annie went on to exceed both her fundraising target of £290 and her distance target, eventually completing 108km and raising £650 for The Lighthouse Club in the process. She is very thankful to everybody who donated, and is keen to emphasise there is still opportunity to do so:
“A HUGE thank you to everyone who has supported my challenge so far and helped me SMASH my original target! Donations still welcome - my challenge continues and it would be so great if we could head towards raising £870 which would support THREE days of the FREE helpline. Please can you show your support and make a donation?”
Why support The Lighthouse Club charity?
The Lighthouse Club receives no government funding and relies solely on the generosity of others to carry out this important work.
The charity offers a wide range of support services pertaining to mental, financial and physical wellbeing, which can be accessed via their national helpline on (UK 0345 605 1956, ROI 1800 939 122) or via their mobile app. They also offers material support to construction companies in the form of priority access to free Mental Health First Aider training, helpline packs of cards for workforce distribution and bespoke graphics for sharing with colleagues and customers.
The Lighthouse Club has also been chosen by the FMB’s National President, Jan Etchells, as our national charity partner.
Annie believes The Lighthouse Club have an important role to play in the lives of those under stress, not least under the additional pressures of the pandemic, when running or working for construction firms, stating:
“…it is good to have The Lighthouse Club as an independent organisation that construction workers and their families can go to for help. Wouldn’t it be good if every construction worker had their helpline number in their mobile – not because the need it now but in case they need it in the future.”
The support offered by The Lighthouse Club dovetails nicely with the steps Kisiel Group Ltd have already taken to support the mental health of their employees. The company has applied for the CITB Skills and Training Fund, which includes courses for Mental Health First Aiders, and they are currently in the process of arranging the training.
Annie has a strong belief in the importance of cultivating good mental health in the workplace, stating:
“It matters to have a positive mental health culture within organisations as it shows that all the workers are valued and part of a team. A good team supports each other.”
Support The Lighthouse Club
You can make a difference today by supporting the Lighthouse Club via the FMB's dedicated JustGiving page.