A 24-year-old woman from Penparcau, Aberystwyth is taking on a physical challenge this March, to give back to the NHS team which she says helped her during a difficult time for her mental health.
Kirsten Davies will run 15 kilometres in a fundraising event which she hopes will raise money for Gorwelion Mental Health Resource in Aberystwyth.
Kirsten said, “In this current stressful climate, mental health is becoming a pandemic in itself. I am passionate about raising awareness about mental health and to let people know that help is out there and the help is in our local community. Gorwelion services were there for me when I needed them. When I was suffering badly with my mental health they helped to support me, I felt like I wasn’t just a number and I was so happy with the service. I know if I needed help again, they will be there. So that’s why I want to give something back.”
Having initially set a fundraising target of £500, Kirsten exceeded her goal within days of launching a JustGiving page, so she’s decided to raise the target to £850, and with over a month to go before her challenge, she looks set to exceed that too. For her the challenge is about more than just raising money, though, she wants people who may be struggling with their own mental health to understand that professional help is available locally.
“Not many people know about Gorwelion, people hear about the bigger mental health charities and support systems. So I want to raise awareness and funds to ensure that Gorwelion can be there to support more people like me. You never know when mental health will hit you. Gorwelion don’t just offer support, they provide training and presentations, to help people have a fresh start in life.”
For Kirsten, taking on the challenge is a way of continuing to improve her own mental health, as well as helping others, “This will be a tough challenge for me as I haven’t ran for ages. But I am training now and working towards a goal, running really helps my mental health. I know once I start the challenge I will be determined to complete it. I won’t be able not to,” she said.
Hywel Dda Health Charities is the official NHS charity for Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. Fundraising Manager Tara Nickerson said, “We are always grateful when people take the time to support our work, delivering services and activities above and beyond what the NHS provides. It’s truly inspiring when people who have received NHS care decide to give back as Kirsten has. The money she raises will directly benefit NHS patients and staff in Gorwelion.”
Kirsten’s fundraising page is at: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/kirsten-davies-gorwelionaberystwyth