Megan, Georgie and Ajay look back on a wonderful (and wet!) day at London’s most stunning half marathon
This year we celebrated our third year in a row at the Royal Parks Half Marathon with our biggest ever team – 100 runners!
Our team has raised over £30,000 in sponsorship donations – an astonishing figure, which is still growing! This year, these donations are going towards a particularly special project: the opening of our first ever retail space. Your hard work will have a lasting legacy through this building, the new funds we’ll be able to raise through it, and the volunteering and employment opportunities we’l be able to make available within it. Watch this space…!
The whole team gathered together under the marquee on Sunday morning for pep talks from Ajay, last-minute coffees and group pictures – before venturing forth into the downpour for what proved to be a very rainy race indeed. Luckily, our bright-yellow vests shone through the drizzle and grey all the way round the track, proudly showing our whole team’s support for L&S Mind. Soaking wet and shattered after completing all 13.1 miles, we all headed straight for the warmth of a local pub for a debrief, pint and final pat on the back from Ajay. (Apart from Paul, who escaped to the airport and jetted off to Greece almost immediately after crossing the finish line! Can’t say I wasn’t jealous…)
Shoutouts and Special Mentions
We were especially proud of our teammate Sage Pearce-Higgins for finishing 4th overall and 1st in our team, with the astonishing time of 1:14.14! You can scroll to the bottom of this page to see all our team’s rankings and times.
Super Sandra Brower, our top individual fundraiser and first-time half-marathon-er, raised a staggering £1,487.50 in just a few weeks. This alone is enough to support one service user in a peer-support group for over a year.
Power duo Teddy Crane and Chloe McCullough are now our longest-standing teammates: they took part in the Royal Parks Half for L&S Mind for the third year in a row. Having been beaten by Teddy last year, Chloe got her own back on him this time by speeding off to the finish line with 800m to spare! We believe they’re still friends, however, and hope to run with them both again in 2019.
Special thanks must also go out to Imogen Makin and Team Joseph Joseph, our most successful team of fundraisers this year. They raised over £2,700 altogether: an incredible result from a dedicated team. So dedicated, in fact, that one of their team did the race despite having a hairline fracture…!
Finally, I’d also like to thank Georgia Lee and Olivia Platman for all your help on the day, and for keeping me company under the freezing marquee. I really couldn’t have managed without your help, so thankyou for giving up your time to help.
Well done, and thank you to everyone who took part!
Georgie’s thoughts – Social Media Assistant and Race Day volunteer
The atmosphere on Sunday was inspiring. Every single L&S Mind runner was excited, happy, but predominantly: determined. Everyone I met seemed focused and pumped for their 13.1 mile run ahead. I was impressed, but not surprised, to learn on Monday that the team had raised such a large amount for this event. From the first person I spoke to to the last there was an underlying feeling in the air that this cause was just so important. It was incredibly heart-warming to witness how spurred on our runners were by their commitment to our belief that everyone deserves good mental health.
Last year the team raised enough money to support two peer support groups for an entire year. This time even more can be done. Raising money for Lambeth and Southwark Mind, because we are a small independent charity, means that your money goes directly to services that will help people who are suffering and all these services are completely free. Enabling these services to take place means you are ensuring the continuity of a safe and nurturing space that could be a vital part of someone’s life.
I don’t know whether it was their bright yellow vests but the Mind runners really stood out from the 16,000 thousand participants! They seemed to generate energy wherever they went and created a really positive atmosphere. For us volunteers it was incredibly exciting to watch.
And final words from Ajay…
As you’ve all worked so hard for this event, you may be wondering what all your training and fundraising actually goes towards….here are some thoughts on that. (Remember, you are always welcome to visit us and see for yourself!)
Firstly, we should clarify that we are a small organisation – more akin to an artist’s studio! In our view, some of the best therapeutic organisations are quite small, and have some space for creativity and individuality.
We only have three full-time members of staff – but our services are free and open to over half a million people (all the residents of Lambeth and Southwark). This is made possible through the dedicated work of dozens of psychotherapists, many of whom offer their time and skills to us for free.
We run helplines, groups and psychotherapy services. Our ethos is not that we are experts, but that everyone experiences difficulties, sometimes chronic and life threatening, often hidden, and our work is to carefully attend to people in distress, in an ordinary, thoughtful, and consistent way. It’s a bit like running: we try and pace ourselves, and keep a dependable pace for those who need us.
That’s why your support is crucial – not just financially, but actually psychologically – as it helps us to know that there are people interested in what we do, and are supporting us in the background. It makes the daily work more pleasurable. It’s a bit intangible, but very valuable, and that’s why we really enjoy meeting you all.
We’re able to ring fence all the money that you raise for very special and unusual work, such as providing intensive long term support and therapy for adults who are in extreme difficulty. Sadly, this type of long term dependable care is hard to get unless you have the funds to see a therapist privately. You’re all helping us to offer better mental health and wellbeing to as many people as we can in Lambeth and Southwark, and to make sure that no-one in our area is forced to go through a mental health problem alone.
Want to support us in a future event? Check out our Events page, and make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest updates!
|BIB NO.||NAME||GENDER||CAT.||CHIP TIME||GENDER POS.||CAT. POS.||CHIP POS.|
|5302||William Trevelyan Thomas||Male||MS||1:48:21||2588||2017||3151|
Megan joined the team as a fundraiser in 2017 from a background in journalism, editorial and retail. She now manages L&S Mind’s website, social media and community fundraising events, as well as trusts and grants fundraising.