Seonaid Mason, Supporter Care Fundraiser at SAMH, recaps on the success of our recent Firewalk event in Glasgow.
The 5th November 2014 is one that some of our supporters will certainly always ‘remember remember’ as they took part in SAMH’s first ever Firewalk.
This was an event that appealed to us as we were looking for a challenge that was a bit different, but one which people could take part in without having to dedicate too much time to training or preparing. Not that many people can say that they have walked on fire! Firewalking also has a great link to mental health, as the challenge is all about increasing your confidence, self-esteem and breaking through limiting beliefs while transforming your fears into positive action.
The night began with our supporters arriving for their pre-Firewalk seminar. Some of them were nervous, some of them were excited; some weren’t sure how they felt! I was a bit of all three as we didn’t know what to expect – a two hour seminar was about to begin and none of us, including me, had any idea of what we were getting ourselves into!
Suffice to say, it was brilliant. I can’t reveal the secrets of the seminar but by the end that quiet bunch of nervous individuals had turned into a rowdy ball of energy ready to take on the Firewalk! Everyone was raring to go, full of positivity and fearlessness.
We left the seminar and made the short walk to St Enoch Square where the Fire Team had already lit the embers. We turned the corner and I was taken aback. At the very least I hoped for about 20-30 people ready to watch their friends and family members complete the Firewalk. In reality, this crowd was so big that we had to fight to get through to the fire! There were people all around the 30 foot diameter barrier, all cheering and excited to see our Firewalkers take their first ‘Fire’ steps.
The walk itself went brilliantly, and the crowd loved it. We cheered and clapped as each supporter stepped up, shouted their name and answered a resounding YES to the question “ARE YOU READY?” before completing their challenge. Afterwards, we invited our supporters to join us for tea and cake, and celebrated all of the money that had been raised for Scotland’s mental health.
All in all, it was an amazing, memorable night. So amazing, in fact, that we’ve decided to do it all over again! The 26th January 2015 is Blue Monday – apparently a day noted for being particularly depressing. We’ve decided to challenge this by making Blue Monday Red-Hot and holding a second Firewalk; this time in Edinburgh. The venue and timings are still to be confirmed, however anyone interested can get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0141 530 1028 for more information. We’re hoping to make this even bigger, even better – and with a few surprises!