The Sunnywood Project is running a range of non-competitive events over the summer to improve people’s wellbeing through experiencing the natural world and completing challenges together.
The first endurance event is the Irwell Sculpture Trail Challenge and will take place on Saturday April 1. The route spans over 33 miles, starting in Rossendale and ending in Media City.
Marc Young, the Sunnywood Project’s Education and Youth Service Director, said: “The endurance events are non-competitive. The idea is promoting the camaraderie of completing them together.
“It is about completing the challenge and about the social experience of doing something that is incredibly challenging as a group. Not to compete with one another – that’s our key ethos.”
The organisation are working in collaboration with Bury Musem to restore the Sculpture Trail and some of the money raised from these events will be put towards that.
“It’s actually the UK’s longest art trail – there are over 70 pieces of artwork along it. However, over the last few years, a lot of the sculptures and artworks have become a bit – they need a little bit of TLC shall we say.
‘”It also gets a little confusing about where all the different pieces of artwork are along the trail, so a lot of our work now is going to be potentially redesigning the route in collaboration with the museum, to encompass all these different artworks,” Mr Young added.
The organisation is also holding an endurance weekend in the West Pennine Moors in July. The challenge will take place over two days and spans fifty miles.
“Sometimes the hikers will look to the runners and think ‘these are these really hardcore people that can run up hills’ and things like that, but then they start wondering if they can do that as well and some of them have then progressed from doing a couple of miles each week with us to doing the monthly ones and now starting to do the endurance runs as well – so it’s made it accessible,” said Dean Corrie, Events Coordinator.
“There are people who have completed the events who probably wouldn’t have done an endurance event because of the nature of how we’ve done it – the idea of being together and the camaraderie and the experience – the social aspect of completing something incredibly challenging as a group,” Mr Corrie added.
The funds raised from these events will be put towards the projects and programmes run by the Sunnywood Project. These include the Duke of Edinburgh Award which they offer to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and ‘toddler trekking’ – a guided walk full of activities for young children and their parents.
Find out more about the Sunnywood Project and their Endurance Events here: Endurance Events (thesunnywoodproject.co.uk).