Andrea Powell, 35


“Being in the hills makes my heart sing. It makes me feel alive.”

About 18 months ago I was signed off from work with stress. I’d never really had any time off, stress didn’t affect me majorly, but one day I found myself at my desk in floods of tears.

When I was reflecting on what happened, I realised I hadn’t been out on a hill for 4 or 5 weeks. I was introduced to the mountains by my partner, and if I had not been walking in them for the year leading up to it I probably would have been ill much sooner.

I needed to get back out. Unfortunately, it can be really hard to step over your doorstep when you’re not feeling well. My manager was really supportive though, which gave me the approval I needed.

Now, I don’t feel fearful. If things aren’t going so good, I go out on the hills and make myself feel better.

The unknowns in life are challenging, and stress is always around the corner, so I think having an outlet is a really positive thing. Being in the hills makes my heart sing. It makes me feel like I’m alive.

Oli Reed