Running a mile each day in all weathers, Sarah Manning has raised £363 for Mind, the charity that supports people who are experiencing problems with their mental health.
Sarah, 15, and a Year 10 student at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, ran a mile each day, over 27 consecutive days, to highlight the percentage of university students who report a mental health concern. At 27%, this is a worrying statistic and represents a problem that is five times greater today than it was ten years ago, a figure that is anticipated to have increased further during the pandemic.
Sarah said: “I kept motivated to run, even though the weather was unpredictable with many rainy and freezing cold days. I really enjoyed doing it and I saw many things I wouldn’t have normally paid attention to, for example sun sets and seeing cute lambs playing in the fields. It made me appreciate just how positive exercise and being close to nature outdoors can make you feel. I will definitely consider doing a fundraiser again and will continue to run often.”
Sarah has impressed her teachers, not only with her dedication with her running challenge but also with her determination to pursue a career in the healthcare sector. Keen to become a mental health nurse, Sarah was successful in securing a place on the highly-competitive ‘Next Gen Nurse’ programme, a NHS virtual work experience through Speakers for School. Sarah heard from nurses who are part of the NHS Nursing ambassador network. Sarah said: “I enjoyed listening to and asking questions of the nurses and splitting off into groups to talk. I learnt about the different careers in nursing and ways to access them. It has definitely confirmed my career plan of wanting to be a mental health nurse.”
Sarah, along with two other Richmond students, Theodora Moumtzis and Archie Dolan, were the only students from across the whole of Yorkshire to attend the online event. There were just 50 places nationally, for Year 10 to Year 13 students, with the majority of students coming from the South of England.
Ms Mannion, Careers Leader, said “I have been so impressed by our students and their commitment to the NHS. This event was so professional and engaging and was an important stepping stone towards our students’ career goals.”
Sarah has arranged to volunteer in a local care home, later in the year, to support residents with dementia and to gain greater experience of working with people who are suffering with mental health issues.
Jenna Potter, Headteacher, concluded: “Sarah is an incredibly kind, thoughtful and dedicated young lady and I really admire her drive and passion to support others and to achieve wider experience of mental health conditions. She has shown immense resilience and independence in her fantastic fundraising efforts and should be incredibly proud of herself.”
If you would like to support Sarah, donations can still be made at https://givepenny.com/sarahmanning1_27_27