Fitness pals set to pound the streets of London in aid of young people’s mental health charity

Friends Rachel Welch and Liza Gotts, who are taking part in the British 10k run in aid of young peop

Friends Rachel Welch and Liza Gotts, who are taking part in the British 10k run in aid of young people's mental health charity the Charlie Waller Memorial TrustPhoto: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

Two north Norfolk fitness fans will be pounding the streets of Westminster at the weekend, when they take part in the annual British 10k run to support young people with mental health problems.

Because Sheringham mum-of-two Liza Gotts, 33, lost a close friend to suicide in 2015, six months ago she decided to take part in Run Every Day (RED) January with long term friend Rachel Welch.

The event this year saw nearly 23,000 people run, swim or walk every day for a month in aid of mental health charity Mind.

The pair went on to complete the Norwich half marathon in April and, keen to build on their success, signed up for Sunday's British 10k, which takes runners past Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey.

They will be running in aid of the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, where Mrs Welch, 40, works as a trainer.

The charity, which was founded by appeal court judge Sir Mark Waller and his wife Rachel in memory of their son Charlie, who took his own life at the age of 28 after suffering from depression, trains doctors, teachers, university staff and employers in spotting the signs of mental ill-health in young people, also funding research and running webinars, conferences and a mental health book club with 2,000 members.

After signing up for the run, Mrs Welch began writing a blog and was stunned by the number of people who responded.

Most Read

'I have had my own problems with anxiety and depression and Liza has also had issues,' she said. 'The feedback was amazing, so many people shared their stories and acknowledged how difficult it is to talk about mental health.'

The friends have been supported by staff at Sheringham leisure centre Splash, which has laid on two fitness classes, with all proceeds going to their online fundraising page.

'We obviously want to raise money, but we also see this as an opportunity to remind people that there is help and support available,' Mrs Welch said. 'It is often easy to talk about physical ill-health, but people feel much less comfortable talking about mental health issues and that is something that needs to change.'

To book for the Splash Totally Shredded class at 6pm on Friday, or the men only Clubercise session at 7pm, phone 01263 825675.

To support Rachel and Liza, visit more information about the Charlie Waller Trust, visit