A mental health support group has received a massive influx of support thanks to one man and his thoughtful team.

Stephen Pugh and his fellow hikers at the Cumbrian Walking Group have raised an impressive £1,565 for Mirehouse-based support group, Mind ya Marras.

The walking team was initially formed as a way to lift spirits during the difficult time of Covid, and after seeing the positive impact it was having on the community, group leader Stephen saw the opportunity to go even bigger with his mood-boosting group.

“I think it’s a great cause supporting mental health issues in our area,” the caring fundraiser said.

“Issues around mental health seem to have only been getting worse lately, especially for some struggling with lockdown measures.”

And so, with walkers John McGill, Daley Simpson, Chris Moore and Karl Murphy by his side, Stephen began the Magnificent Seven walk to raise funds for mental health support – tackling 10 mountains across 13.1 miles, starting at Buttermere.

He said: “I began to think early on that I’d set the target a little high with trying to reach £1,000, but I was overwhelmed with the end amount!

“Once again I’d like to thank everyone who donated.”

But it’s not just Stephen who’s grateful, with Councillor Carl Walmsley, one of those behind Mind ya Marras, sharing his thanks to the walkers.

“I’d just like to say on behalf of all the co-founders, volunteers and of course our regular users, a huge heartfelt thank you,” he said.

“The local support Mind ya Marras has been getting lately has been overwhelming.

“It not only helps us run as a group long term, but also shows that our little support group is very well thought of – in fact, I’d go as far as saying its now a household name around our town.”

He continued: “It’s a fantastic project, going from strength to strength, and still getting new faces weekly.

“We have a great team of volunteers, and I’m extremely proud to play a part in it.

“A huge thank you to Stephen and his team for thinking of us – it really does mean a lot.”

And while he’s made a huge difference to the support group already, Stephen’s efforts aren’t finished, as he’s all set for his 2021 fundraiser – the three-peak challenge.

On June 12, the devoted mental health advocate will be completing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon within 24 hours, and he’s encouraging everyone to get involved.

“Anyone is welcome and can choose the charity of your choice which means something to you – mine will always be mental health,” Stephen said.

He added that he’s also looking for sponsors and transport, along with any other help people can offer.

To get involved, you can contact Stephen via Facebook.