DURING the month of March, Fionnuala Quinn from Enniskillen is taking part in an ambitions fundraising campaign, with the combined aim to raise money and awareness for a national mental health charity.
Over the next three weeks, the 21-year old student is set to pull on the walking shoes and clock up the miles as part of a 27-27 fundraiser for mental health charity, Mind.
After finding out through her University about the fundraising initiative, Fionnuala jumped at the chance to take part.
“Someone on my university course had mentioned it to me and I thought it would be a good challenge as I enjoy going to the gym and playing Gaelic so I thought it was a good way to combine something that would be good for me and my own physical and mental health, while also good for others, by raising money through the challenge for Mind.”
Walking 27 miles in 27 days will be a very testing and physically demanding challenge.
While she realises that it will be incredibly tough, Fionnuala is looking forward to taking part and trying to make a difference.
“I think it is important that people support organisations like this [Mind] where they’re able to. Although not everyone may use a service like Mind, we’ll always know someone who may benefit from the work they do.
“Many people do not have a support network of friends and family and can struggle to find someone to talk to about the things they struggle with, as they don’t know who to turn to.
“Mind is an organisation which aims to combat this issue and provide resources, creating that option and opportunity for individuals to be supported, respected and heard.
“I think this challenge in particular gives people the opportunity to support organisations like mind, as it allows students to lead a movement in a way that can help their own mental health, by taking a break out of the stress of student life and work to exercise, which can help improve mood.”
At the time of going to press, Fionnuala has already surpassed her goal and has raised a total of £190 for Mind.
Aside from the money raised, the Focusekn employee feels that the challenge can help ‘create conversations’ about mental health struggles amongst the younger population.
“These fundraisers and promotion of them can create conversations amongst people about how they’re feeling and their own mental health.
“Ultimately they can help to breakdown that barrier and stigma often associated with mental health. Such conversations can be opportunities for people to reach out and they come from public support through taking part in fundraisers and donating to great services like Mind.
“I do think that supporting organisations like Mind help create so much good within the organisation, but also on a wider scale as well, allowing for individuals to start discussions with each other, for example from something as small as seeing a student sharing a fundraising post that they’re taking part in on their social media.”
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