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Leeds Mind 100km Challenge!

What are we doing and why are we doing it?

When we saw that Leeds Mind was doing an appeal for £50k, we knew we had to help in some way as we are aware of how much this charity does for our city. After a discussion, we decided to set ourselves the challenge of running 100km between us (like a constant relay whilst splitting the distance equally) in order to raise money for this worthwhile cause.

After a snowy, icy and windy January and February, we also thought this would be a great way for us to get back into running and push ourselves out of our comfort zones. Afterall, what’s more motivating when you’re being made accountable for helping a charity?

As many of you will be aware, in the past few months we have started this blog and the Instagram page (2_mindstogether) in order to educate ourselves and others about various mental health disorders/illnesses whilst aiming to break stigmas. In this short space of time, we have met some truly inspirational people who are actively sharing their stories to help others understand and offer support. We are aware that many of these people have sought help from services like Leeds Mind and therefore this has re-emphasised the importance of supporting our local mental health charity as services like these will literally save lives.

We think that it’s fair to say that everyone’s mental health has taken a hit in the past year due to COVID. Due to that, when we come out of this surreal chapter of our lives, it is important that there is sufficient and effective support for those people who need it. It also seems to us that whilst people’s mental health has deteriorated, the positives we can take from this is that people are more willing to accept and discuss their struggles rather than suffering alone. With this in mind, there is a definite need to help charities such as Leeds Mind to ensure they have the funds to help those who seek it.

Another negative impact of COVID is that charities have been unable to organise fundraisers which would usually provide them with a substantial income to set up projects and facilitate services. So at a time when there is more demand for mental health support, the charities have less money to fund services. We want to raise as much money as possible to make sure Leeds Mind is there for the future. Do you know what your donations can buy?

  • £5 could fund a yoga or art wellbeing session.
  • £20 could fund a month zoom subscription allowing a continuation of the virtual support.
  • £40 could fund an hour of counselling.
  • £100 could fund a group support session for 15 people.
  • £15,000 could fund 1:1 support work for a year.
  • £50,000 could cover the costs for a project to help 100 people experiencing mental health difficulties including a paid support worker.

What does Leeds Mind do?

Primarily, Leeds Mind is a charity who offer mental health support in Leeds. They are able to provide a variety of services to cater for an individual’s needs. Leeds Mind’s mission is to, “enable people with mental health difficulties to flourish,” providing “better mental health for all.”

Their 6 core values are:

  • Kindness
  • Hope
  • Empowerment
  • Respect
  • Inclusion
  • Support

According to Leeds Mind:

Before Covid-19, it was estimated that 1 in 4 people would experience a mental health difficulty at some point in their lives. According to a recent Mind survey, around 50% of the UK population is now struggling with their mental health. In Yorkshire and the Humber, that figure is even higher at 60%.

Here are some stats that the lovely Gem from Leeds Mind shared with us for the period April 2019-March 2020:

Total number of people supported between April 2019-March 2020 – 4526

Total new clients: 3,670 (81% of total clients were new to Leeds Mind last year)

The quarterly statistic of new referrals since 1st April 2020 show that there is a rise in each quarter:

Q1: 318

Q2: 456

Q3: 599

Q4: expected to rise again (approx. an additional 140 each quarter based on past year)

Here are some of the services that Leeds Mind can provide:

  • Peer Support
  • WorkPlace Leeds
  • Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service
  • Counselling
  • Inkwell Arts
  • SELF Befriending
  • Linking Leeds
  • Men’d
  • Grief & Loss Support Line
  • Live Well Leeds
  • Training – Leeds Mind provides a range of mental health training
  • Mentally healthy Universities
  • Mindful Employer Leeds

It is without a doubt that Leeds Mind offers a huge range of services and are a real asset to our city. With mental health and wellbeing being at the forefront of people’s minds, it is paramount that they are able to operate and resume their services at full capacity to enable Leeds to be a city that can flourish. For more details on the services above please visit the Leeds Mind website.

Where are we up to so far?

As of today (Thursday 11th March 2021), we have completed 44km out of the 100km target. Although we are currently on track to achieving 100km, we had hit a bump in the road by day three. Unfortunately for us, one half of our running duo (Nick) sustained an injury which meant that the other half (Lucy) has had to pick up more runs in the first week to ensure we don’t fall behind. We are hoping that we will both be running fit by next week to continue as a duo. Who knows, we might even manage more than 100km…

So far, we have managed to raise an impressive £310. We are so grateful to those who have already sponsored this charity by supporting our running fundraiser. There have been some anonymous donations and some from others we do not know so if we haven’t been able to thank you personally, we want you to know how thankful we are for your support.

If you are reading this and want to help motivate us to get up early on these cold mornings, please donate! Link below!

Thank you!

Nick & Lucy x

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