Our staff and students completed a ‘Mental Marathon’, achieving 753 miles in a day in support of mental health charities, with the help of professional skateboarder, Ryan Swain.
Our Student Union (SU) committee organised the 215-mile walking, running and cycling event after being inspired by former Barnsley College Sport and Exercise Sciences student Matt Pinder’s 215-mile 5-day run in aid of Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) and Toms Talks.
“It’s fantastic to be part of the event and not only to hold a talk on mental health and neurodiversity but to encourage students and people within the education industry to express their feelings and emotions.”
The aim of the project was to further raise awareness of mental health within the College to support the ongoing effort to reduce the stigma around mental illness whilst raising money for mental health charities.
We smashed our target by holding multiple spinning sessions hosted by the College’s very own Cultural Capital Co-ordinator, Lucy Evans, in the Honeywell Sports Village.
Three exercise bikes were also placed outside the SU for staff and students to ride throughout the day, and all departments collected the miles that they walked, ran, or biked on the day to reach the target.
During the day, stalls were also located outside the SU from Samaritans, Kooth, Northern Region Recovery, Spectrum, and the College’s own Health and Wellbeing Centre to ensure students have the resources to access support within the College and across the wider region.
Ryan Swain, award-winning presenter and Skateboard GB registered Coach, said: “It’s fantastic to be part of the event and not only to hold a talk on mental health and neurodiversity but to encourage students and people within the education industry to express their feelings and emotions.
“I enjoyed the spinning class because physical activity is a vital part of mental health. Physical activity releases a lot of endorphins and I’m a big advocate for that, so I encourage people to be proactive as they can; it can just be getting outside and taking a walk.”
Lucy Clark, President of the SU and current Art, Design and Communication (Fashion Design pathway) Level 3 student, added: “I focused on men’s mental health for the final project of my Fashion Diploma course, as my partner is involved with mixed martial arts, and being around a male-dominated sport I noticed how covered up the topic of mental health was.
“During a SU Committee meeting, we were discussing mental health and I explained my project. We decided to create an event to raise awareness of mental health and ensure staff and students know about the resources available.
“It was great to see the impact a single day had, through the money raised and the number of people around the SU getting involved.”
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Last updated: 24th May 2023
Originally posted on: 24th May 2023