A CUMBRIAN charity that promotes mental health awareness by walking and talking in nature has won an award at one of the biggest outdoor shows in the country.

Mind Over Mountains were named the 2024 winner of the 'Charity Initiative of the Year' award at the inaugural National Outdoor Expo Awards in Birmingham at the National Exhibit Centre between March 22 – 23.

The charity campaign around restoring mental health naturally.

They offer professional mental health support with their team of experienced coaches, counsellors and mountain leaders on hill-walks and weekend retreats in the Lake District and Peak District.

Alex Staniforth and Chris Spray founded the charity in 2020 as they believed accessing the outdoors was a real benefit to a person’s mental health.

Staniforth, who is also a trustee at the charity, was also one of the finalists for the ‘inspiring person of the year’ category.

He said: “We were shortlisted alongside some really big national charities like The Ramblers, The Royal Life Saving Society and KitSquad.

“It was a real compliment for us to win this award with still being a relatively small charity.

“The voting was all done by the public which was nice because it meant that it came from our community and from people that have benefitted. For them to give something back to us was a really good feeling.

“It was a massive boost and it gave us a real spring in our step. We were all quite emotional. Seeing all of the support from our community meant the world to us.

“I’m grateful we have such a great team. It’s been a privilege to watch us grow and develop to this point.”

The charity are set to launch a huge fundraising campaign in the coming weeks to ensure better mental health support is available for all those who need it.

Alex added: “There are big things to come. We can’t wait to tell you more – watch this space.”

To find out more about scheduled upcoming walks and retreats, click here.