Walk & Talk Watch: Daily updates from the MIMHC Mental Health Awareness Week event


After five days of travel, today marked the final leg of the inaugural Walk & Talk event from The Mortgage Industry Mental Health Charter (MIMHC).

After many hours of walking, a number of aches and pains, and several guest walkers, Jason Berry (Crystal Specialist Finance) and Jonathan White (Number 15 Recruitment) arrived at their final destination in the HSBC offices in Canary Wharf this evening.

Thankfully, weather conditions remained favourable for the last leg, as the pair were joined by Dave Jones (Click2Check), Matt Martin (Virgin Money), Scott Howitt (Chartwell Mortgage Services), Rob Oliver (Dudley Building Society), Jane Faulkner (HSBC), Justin Miners (HSBC) and Hemat Natha (Mortgage Advice Point).

Today, the group walked over 26 miles from Hemel Hempstead all the way into the heart of London, where they were hosted for a celebratory event by HSBC.

Berry said: “We had a great crew today, everybody played their part in lifting our spirits. HSBC have hosted us excellently and we’ve been lucky with the weather.

“Hemat organised to join us at 8:30 last night and he’d been a brilliant addition to the day.

“He’s one of the early broker signatories of the charter, and at lunchtime, it was his pledge which took us over the £5,000 donation barrier.”

In total, the initiative raised over £5,178 in support of a number of UK mental wellbeing charities, exceeding their initial goal of £5,000.

Berry said: “To have achieved what Jonathan and I have done over the past five days, we genuinely couldn’t have done it without the conversations we’ve had with people on each leg of the journey.

“The theme, as much as it has been about physical activity for Mental Health Awareness Week, has really been importance of communication and conversation.”

He added: “I’m really grateful to my wife and my daughter who have provided us with vital support throughout.

“We’ve also had a couple of dogs with us, Archie and Otis, who have been along for the ride.

“Overall, I’ve been really humbled by just how many people have reached out – it is brilliant that we have been able to have some impact and showcase the importance of this cause.”

For more information on the event, details can be found here: Walk and Talk – The Mortgage Industry Mental Health Charter (mimhc.co.uk)

In addition, donations will remain active for the next seven days. Those wishing to donate can visit: Crowdfunding to support Mental Health and Wellbeing on JustGiving


Day four of the MIMHC Walk & Talk event saw participants travel from Milton Keynes to Hemel Hempstead, finally breaking the impressive 100-mile mark at of the end of the day.

Despite the hard slog of the past few days, key walkers Jason Berry (Crystal Specialist Finance) and Jonathan White (Number 15 Recruitment) remained optimistic ahead of tomorrow’s final leg.

Joined by Scott Howitt (Chartwell Mortgage Services) and Andrew Milnes (Mortgage Advice Bureau), the group traversed over 26 miles today, of course followed closely by the all-important support team.

Even in light of innumerable aches and pains, and several formidable blisters to boot, Berry and White maintained that the support of their fellow guest walkers has been invaluable in terms of boosting morale.

Encompassing the theme of the Walk & Talk initiative, and the ‘keeping the conversation going’ message of the MIMHC, Berry noted that conversation has been a vital tool in propelling the walkers forward.

He said: “Having different people drop in each day definitely lifts the mood for Jonathan and I.

“Just having a different conversation and a different energy each day really does give us a lift.”

With the fourth day now at and end, the initiative has now raised over £3,800, only £1,200 away from its fundraising goal of £5,000.

Berry said: “We are really focused getting to getting to £5,000 of donations before 5pm tomorrow.

“We are scheduled to arrive at Canary Wharf around that time, and if we can get to that matching £5,000 number by then that will give us a real spring in our step.”

He continued: “I’ve absolutely loved the four days, and even though we’re finding it physically tough at the moment, it has been brilliant.

“We can’t wait to get to Canary Wharf tomorrow.”


The third day of the MIMHC Walk & Talk event, marking Mental Health Awareness Week, has come to a close, with the walkers arriving in Milton Keynes after a slightly longer walk than expected.

Key walkers Jason Berry (Crystal Specialist Finance) and Jonathan White (Number 15 Recruitment) reported a slightly harder slog today as they reached their 76th mile so far, with 55 more to go before arriving in Canary Wharf on Friday.

Nevertheless, the presence of new joiners Roger Morris, Matthew Taylor, national relationship manager at Shawbrook bank, and Kris Corns, operations director at Crystal SF, helped buoy the mood, along with the improved weather.

The group walked 23 miles, the majority along the picturesque Grand Union Canal and avoiding dual carriageways, meeting the Ashton Village Ramblers along the way.

With rest becoming increasingly important, the group plans a casual dinner in the hotel and early bed, before setting off for Hemel Hempstead in the morning.

The Walk & Talk initiative is currently only £1,576 away from its £5,000 target, and Berry reinforced the important cause and urged people to donate if they can.

Berry said: “It’s been a tougher day today, and the afternoon in particular was a bit of a slog.

“Roger, Chris and Matt played an important part in getting me and Jonathan to the end.

“We’re still feeling determined about getting to the finish, but it really helped having the guys along with us – the conversation has been great and Roger has provided brilliant entertainment.”

He added: “We really encourage people to pledge, as it goes a long way to a good cause, and it inspires us to put one foot in front of the other!

“What’s been clear is everyone has been rallying around, so everyone is fit to fight another day.

“I also want to reconfirm what this is all about – suicide is on the rise, and we want to encourage conversation and make sure people don’t suffer in silence.”


With a dreary, rainy start to the day, the waterproofed Walk & Talkers have nevertheless persevered through their second day of hiking for Mental Health Awareness Week.

Jason Berry (Crystal Specialist Finance), Jonathan White (Number 15 Recruitment) and Neil Hoare (Homeloan Partnership) participated in today’s leg of the journey, covering 26 miles from Binley to Northampton.

On the way, the group met a be-kilted fellow walker who had covered over 5,000 miles over 18 months in aid of gaining investment in the Scottish highlands, as well as adding 54p to the donation pot while travelling along the A45 before swapping this for the more scenic Grand Union Canal.

Hoare’s experience running marathons had him set a strenuous pace for the group, encouraging them to meet a 4.3mile/hour average, compared with yesterday’s 3.7.

The group has so far raised £3,348, 66% of its £5,000 target.

Berry said: “We’re feeling good physically. We’ve got sore feet but we’re feeling strong.

“There’s no doubt we’ll complete these five days – we’re super focused and determined.

“We’ve got good people joining us each day, which will give us the encouragement we need.

“We’ve also had lots of nice comments from people seeing our progress.”

White added: “So much of walking long distances is in the head, which is important considering the cause we’re supporting.

“I don’t think I’ve met someone as determined as Jason in a long time, and you can see that in his walk.

“While we are having fun, it’s important to bear in mind the real reason we’re doing this, which is to raise awareness – sometimes you need to clear your headspace, to walk and talk.”


The first day of the Mortgage Industry Mental Health Charter’s (MIMHC) five-day, 125-mile charity hike has come to a close, and the Mental Health Awareness Week event has already amassed over £3,000 in pledges.

The group of nine, including MIMHC co-founders Jason Berry and Jonathan White, set off from the Crystal Specialist Finance office in Tamworth at 8:30 this morning, arriving in late afternoon at the Coventry Building Society offices in Binley.

The full group for day one was: Bob Hunt, CEO of Paradigm Mortgage Services; Richard Howes, director of Paradigm Mortgage Services; Kath Stagg of Stagg Mortgage Services; Jane Benjamin, director at Connect Mortgages; Pete Gwilliam, managing director of Virtus Search; Darrell Walker, head of mortgage sales and distribution of Moda Mortgages; Jonathan White, director at Number 15 Recruitment; and Simon Hendy, CRO at L&C Mortgages.

Berry and White plan to complete all five days, with other hikers joining at various points across the five days.

The event was created in order to promote the importance of physical activity in relation to psychological wellbeing, while also providing opportunities for in-depth conversation.

Berry told The Intermediary that the first day started the event off well, with “non-stop conversation” and a manageable amount of blisters.

The group will stay in Binley tonight, treating themselves to local fish and chips, while taking care to look after their feet ahead of another strenuous day of walking tomorrow.

While he encouraged more donations to help reach the event’s £5,000 target, Berry also reinforced the importance that people across the mortgage industry use this week to boost their physical activity and take time to look after their mental wellbeing.

MIMHC will also be giving away a mystery prize for the person in the industry who records the most steps, and Berry encouraged people to find new ways of ticking up their step count, such as meetings on the move and making the most of the nice weather.

Berry said: “It’s a really good group, and as we’ve gone through the day we’ve had plenty of new donations and supporters.

“It’s been easier to walk, because we’ve been non-stop chatting – talking is so important, and we’ve been able to talk with people we might not normally get to.

“We need to protect our feet, so we’re going to have a fish and chip tea round the corner and bathe our feet!

“We’re going into tomorrow feeling physically strong.”