Abi Fenton – Running miles for Leeds MIND

During the pandemic in 2020, Leeds MIND were taking double the usual number of referrals, whilst trying to cope with a 50% loss of funding because restrictions made it impossible to fundraise in the usual ways.

Abi Fenton, knowing only too well how much help Leeds MIND can be for those suffering with mental ill health, decided to try to help by running 75 miles in May.  

Abi: “I was so relieved, if not a bitter sweet moment, that we were able to exceed my target of £1000, raising in total £1525. This is also thanks to support from businesses and members of my Facebook group to help towards an increasing demand of services.  

I was overwhelmed by the support locally, and was shocked when we got over this high target as the money kept coming in. The support from local businesses for the raffle really helped make that such a success. My running challenge really was a challenge. I only just got the miles completed in the time; it was a mental and physical challenge for sure. 

Out of the £1,525 raised, £110 of that was from one of the members of my group raised doing a sponsored running challenge too. The raffle raised £822 and my running challenge and my 10% of treatments came to £583.”

All money raised is put straight back into providing more services to those who need it. Therefore, more fundraising means more people supported with their mental health in Leeds. Here are some hard facts:

  • 1 in 5 of men and 1 in 3 of women in Leeds have had a mental health diagnosis confirmed from a medical professional. 
  • In July 2020, 1 in 6 people under 16 in Leeds, were experiencing a mental health difficulty. 1 in 5 of these reported waiting more than 6 months to see a mental health professional. This means that approximately 5,000 children in Leeds are currently waiting for mental health support.
  • Depression has increased and now affects roughly a quarter of men and women over the age of 65. Approximately 31,000 people in Leeds. 
  • More than 1 in 3 of those aged 75+ say they have feelings of loneliness that are out of their control. Approximately 19,000 people in Leeds.  

Here’s an idea of how those much-needed funds can be used:

  • £1.50 could pay for ingredients to take part in our Cookery Club
  • £3 can fund a canvass for an aspiring artist at Inkwell
  • £5 could fund a place in a group ‘wellbeing session’
  • £10 can fund a place on group counselling sessions
  • £30 could fund an hour of Counselling
  • £50 could support a befriending social event
  • £100 could fund a group support session
  • £500 could fund a volunteer’s expenses for a year
  • £15,000 pays for 1-2-1 key working support for a year
  • £40,000 pays for a full-time project worker and support costs. 

Abi concludes: I am so happy that the money we raised can support people in Leeds area with mental health struggles, as well as spreading the word and talking openingly about mental health.  I hope you can help me raise awareness and celebrate the fact that people are still helping one another in such difficult times.”

Helen Morgan

Helen's interests are wide-ranging, from food to music to art and comedy.   She is especially keen on writing about local charitable activity and events as well as the opportunities the City Region has to offer to those with hidden talents.

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