A selfless and kind-hearted student is setting herself the target of running 27 miles over 27 days in aid of MIND, the charity that supports those who are struggling with their mental health.

Sarah Manning, age 14 and a Year 10 student at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, is aiming to pursue a career in healthcare and wanted to do something to help others, especially during the Lockdown, which is a particularly challenging time for many people.

The number of miles Sarah is running has a particular significance – she is raising money in solidarity with the 27% of university students who report a mental health problem. More students are experiencing mental health problems than ever before. The number of students reporting a mental health problem is five times greater today than it was ten years ago, while the number of students dropping out because of mental health problems has trebled.

Sarah will start her daily run on 1st March. She has been training very hard over the last few weeks, running 1 ½ miles each day and will continue to be out daily, whatever the weather, until she completes the challenge on 27th March.

Sarah said: “I am hoping to work in the healthcare sector after I finish my studies, and as I cannot directly help those in need of help myself yet, I would like to raise money and donate to an organisation that can. I chose to do my running challenge in aid of Mind, as I think it is very important to support charities that can potentially help us or someone we care about in the future to help improve their wellbeing.”

Sarah will be running as part of a much larger group of people across the country who are also taking part in this event, which is spearheaded by Mind. Further information on how to join the 27/27 challenge is available at https://www.mind.org.uk/get-involved/donate-or-fundraise/take-on-an-active-challenge/run-for-mind/27-27/

Jenna Potter, Headteacher, said: “I am so impressed with Sarah for taking the initiative and devoting her free time to train for this challenge.  Sarah is fitting her daily run around her home learning. She has also found time to apply for virtual work experience, and has recently been successful in securing highly-sought-after placements with both the NHS and the Royal Academy Sandhurst. Sarah is showing high levels of resilience and independence and the compassion she is showing by thinking of others at this difficult time is admirable.”

Sarah has set herself a fundraising target of £300. If you would like to support Sarah, donations can be made at https://givepenny.com/sarahmanning1_27_27