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Emma’s going the extra mile to raise mental health awareness!

Emma’s going the extra mile to raise mental health awareness!

Our students are being productive during lockdown and using their time to do something that they wouldn’t normally be able to achieve!

Emma, 18, from Eston, has gone the extra mile during lockdown to help make a difference to others. Emma, a local teaching assistant, decided that whilst she was furloughed, she would take the opportunity to fundraise for a local charity that is close to her heart, by doing something that she enjoys – walking!

On Friday, Emma, who is currently studying our FdA Supporting Teaching and Learning course, successfully completed her 300 miles in 30 days challenge, walking an impressive 762,880 steps. Starting on Wednesday 6 May until Thursday 4 June, she committed to walking 10 miles a day to fundraise for Redcar & Cleveland Mind.

Emma said: “I feel proud of myself for completing the challenge and for raising over £750! I have exceeded my personal expectations, as my first target was £250 and I reached that within the first day, so I upped it to £500 and then £750.

“I’m really passionate about supporting mental health charities. I’ve had mental health problems myself, so I understand what others are going through and I want to be able to help them to get the support that they need.

“I felt that lockdown was the perfect time to start my fundraising, because people may struggle with their mental health more than ever before during this time and I wanted to take the opportunity, whilst I’m off work, to take on the challenge and raise some money!”

Emma mentioned that the challenge would not only benefit the charity, but it has helped her too. She said: “I like to be busy and to keep myself occupied, so this has helped me to be motivated over the last month. My fitness has definitely improved too!”

Emma’s daily walks took approximately three and a half hours to complete, with her routes including Redcar to Saltburn and back, and Saltburn Cliff Walk across to Skinningrove and back.

She said: “I have felt fine throughout the challenge, but the hot weather has been a bit of an issue. I’ve found it easier to walk on an evening when it has started to cool down. There have been a couple of times where I was struggling, but I kept going, thanks to all of the donations I received. A lot of people have supported me and that helped me to keep powering on.”

Emma’s plan was to raise awareness through fundraising, which she feels that she has achieved. She said: “I think that this challenge has got more people talking. When I’ve been explaining the 300 miles in 30 days, people have been asking me questions and it opens up a conversation about mental health.”

Speaking of her future plans, Emma mentioned that she wants to continue raising awareness of mental health charities. She is also progressing on to the second year of the foundation degree, starting in September and aims to move on to study the BA (Hons) Education & Training to achieve her full degree and help young children with mental health problems.

You can track Emma’s journey, which includes photos and updates from all of her walks, on her fundraising page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emma-willett7

A selection of Emma’s amazing photos are included below too:

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