Bedfordshire woman's peak performance in aid of mental health charity

Husband joins Rachel on climb

A woman from Ampthill has climbed Mount Snowdon in aid of a charity close to her heart - saying it's helped turn her life around.

Rachel Mannings challenged herself to hike Wales’ tallest mountain, raising more than £450 for the mental health charity Mind.

Joined by her husband, Martin, the couple completed the trek up and down in an impressive four hours 49 minutes.

Rachel Mannings and her husband Martin

She said: “The challenge was very tough, but we were determined not to take the train on the way back down the mountain.

“While the weather was pretty chilly at the top, I was pleased we could finally complete the fundraiser. We were supposed to do it in May but because of coronavirus we had to reschedule."

She added: “I’m determined to raise money for Mind, a charity which my employer Grand Union has been working with over the past year to raise awareness of mental health issues. I’ve worked for the organisation for more than 16 years and my colleagues were very supportive of my fundraiser."

Rachel, a customer service officer at Grand Union Housing Group, in Milton Keynes, was inspired because of her own experience of poor mental health.

Rachel Mannings and her husband Martin

“After a number of physical illnesses, my mental health took a turn for the worst last year. I lost my confidence and wasn’t coping well.

“I often turned to Mind’s website to read stories from those affected by mental health issues. Over time, I learned to talk more about how I’m doing, to exercise more and to take regular breaks to prevent me becoming overwhelmed.

“I found that having something to aim for, particularly the Snowdon challenge, really helped me. Now, I feel physically and mentally stronger than ever and I’ve turned my life around.”

Aileen Evans, chief executive officer at Grand Union Housing Group, added: “We’re enormously proud of Rachel and it just goes to show what you can do when you put your mind to something. At Grand Union, we’re passionate about having an open culture about mental health."