Edinburgh University students take part in 24-hour relay for charity

The team have already managed to smash their £500 target for Scottish charity Health in Mind
Three of the 24 relay runners training outside McEwan Hall (from left to right) Michael Lynch, Lucien Staddon Foster and Sam Doble Thomson.Three of the 24 relay runners training outside McEwan Hall (from left to right) Michael Lynch, Lucien Staddon Foster and Sam Doble Thomson.
Three of the 24 relay runners training outside McEwan Hall (from left to right) Michael Lynch, Lucien Staddon Foster and Sam Doble Thomson.

A team of students and staff from Edinburgh University’s Geography department are taking on a 24-hour relay race challenge to raise money for the mental wellbeing charity, Health in Mind.

The endurance run will start when the first runner sets out on their one hour race across the city at 6 pm on Friday, September 25, 2020

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Passing the ‘virtual baton’ onto the second runner the socially-distanced relay will continue throughout the night finally finishing at 6 am on Saturday.

The team, many of whom have not run before, have been training hard to bring their fitness up to the challenge.

From early morning runs in the Meadows to strength training in the gym, each team member has been working throughout the summer to ensure they have what it takes to complete their part of the 24-step relay race.

Having already smashed through their fundraising target of £500 having raised over £600 to date, the team hopes they can double their target by Friday.

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Cash raised will be given to local charity Health in Mind which promotes positive mental health and wellbeing in the city.

Geography Society sports secretary Sam Thomson said the race is “all for Health in Mind” and he hopes to see as many people as possible turn out to support the runners and charity.

Last year the mental health charity based in the West End of Edinburgh helped 2600 people in the Capital struggling with their mental health through a variety of one-to-one counselling and support groups.

Geography student Sophie Penman who will be taking part in the race said that during the pandemic it is “crucial” that mental health services like these continue to get the funding support they need.

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She said: “A recent study found that self-reported mental health and wellbeing worsened during the pandemic, with many people reporting an increased level of anxiety, depression and stress.

“Charities like Health in Mind provide crucial services and resources to support the increasing number of people who are struggling.

“Geography society picked this charity with the understanding that many students have looked for services like these in the chaos and confusion of the lockdown.

“We hope that by raising money, others will be able to use these services too. While the pandemic has interrupted some of Health in Minds in-person services, they still offer online counselling and virtual resources that can help support people during these challenging times.”

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A spokesperson from Health and Mind said: “A huge thank you to the runners at Edinburgh University for taking on this challenge to raise vital funds - you are all Health in Mind Heroes and part of what makes our community great!

“By taking on this challenge this week, the runners are supporting people who access our services, as well as raising awareness for mental health - something that is needed now more than ever.

“Health in Mind is an Edinburgh based mental health and wellbeing charity, and we continue to support people in a range of ways during this challenging time. If you would like to talk to someone about support or if you would like to take on your own challenge please visit our website www.health-in-mind.org.uk or call us on 0131 225 8508.”

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