Two Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) colleagues are in training to run their first half-marathon for charities close to their hearts.
Alex Staines, 24, a mental health Assistant Psychologist, and Penny Boyle, 23, a mental health Assistant Practitioner, are running for Mind and Marie Curie on Sunday, 8 October.
The two, who work in the Trust’s Bury North Integrated Delivery Team, based in Newmarket, will be taking on the challenge of completing the Royal Parks Half-Marathon, which takes in some of London’s major landmarks and four of its eight Royal Parks - Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James's Park and Kensington Gardens.
Alex, who started running for the first time over the last month, said: “Both of us are really passionate about youth mental health in particular and raising awareness of the importance of talking and normalising mental health during childhood and adolescence.”
She added: “Mental health is something so important to me, not only in my work and education but also in my personal life. We need to work hard to improve mental health and also alleviate the stigma attached.”
Alex, from Ipswich, said she chose Mind in particular because she had experience of the charity and the good work it does and it had helped her early on in her psychology career. She now wanted to give something back.
Penny, from Stowmarket, who has only run for pleasure until now, has set herself the target of completing the run in two hours.
She said: “I have been inspired to run my first ever half-marathon in my Nan’s memory.“Marie Curie have done a lot to help my family. They looked after my Nan in the last stages of her life and supported my family afterwards. She died a few years ago but I’m still coming to terms with it and doing the run is a way to help me do so.”
She added: “The work Marie Curie do is vital for all the families out there who need them. This is my way of giving something back, and to say thank-you Marie Curie.”
To support their half-marathon efforts, see Alex’s fundraising page at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=AlexStaines
And Penny’s at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/penny-boyle
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