Mia, 17, chose MIND, as she is personally very aware of the positive impact regular exercise has on emotional wellbeing. After a very low two years in her life, due to unforeseen circumstances, Mia decided to take control of the way she felt by pushing herself with schoolwork, fitness and eating to feel her best. Prior to this she had no self-confidence, no ambition, and relied on immediate satisfactions such as her phone, binge-eating food and doing minimal work, as anything other than that felt mentally tough to endure. She is now a passionate advocate on how an emphasis on small changes of behaviours and challenges each day, with a long term focus, are far more beneficial than short-term fixes when it comes to supporting mental health issues.
Since making these changes Mia has been training 5-6 times per week , and has found it is a kind of 'therapy' a way of releasing, de-stressing from all that's going on in her life, and giving her self-control and confidence. It has also been the catalyst for changes in ambitions academically. She was targeted CCC in her A-levels but has recently achieved incredible results of AAA* in her PPEs (pre-public examinations) and has a place at the University of Nottingham to study Cognitive Neruroscience. Mia is a fabulous role model for the younger generation and an inspiring example of how keeping physically fit and having a regular exercise routine can be a catalyst for a positive state of mind.
Mia comments: “Although I am relatively fit, the thought of running 10k each day terrified me, especially fitting it in alongside my revision. It is my least favourite training, so I really challenged myself mentally as I was very much out of my comfort zone. I hope to influence young girls, in particular, that they should exercise to feel good for themselves and not because they feel pressurised to look a certain way by societal standards. I have raised £275 so far and hope this will increase with more donations.”
Caroline House, Mia’s Geography Teacher, said: “Mia is a determined and inspirational young lady, who works incredibly hard to overcome obstacles placed before her. Not only does she set herself challenging academic targets but she balances her studies with an active and healthy mindset. She is kind, supportive and generous, always having time for others whether through academic mentoring or a general shoulder to cry on.”
The aim of MIND is to help people build on their strengths, overcome obstacles, and become more in control of their lives by promoting positive mental health and wellbeing and providing help and support to those who need it. One in four people experience mental health difficulties at some point in their lives, this can be in many forms from depression, anxiety and stress to bereavement and self-harm. Currently, some of the money donated is being used to fund their Peer Support Service, which means people supporting each other on an equal and mutual basis using their shared personal experiences, with fully-trained staff and volunteers providing a welcoming and safe environment in which to do this.
Gemma Green, Community Fundraising Officer at MIND, added: “We are extremely grateful to Mia for choosing to support Leeds Mind by taking on a challenge of running 10k every day for 12 days, not an easy challenge at this time of the year weather wise but Mia is also studying for her A-levels so fitting in a 10k run every day really would have been both physically and mentally challenging. Fundraising challenges such as this really do make a difference to the services we provide here at Leeds Mind and we can’t thank Mia enough for her support.”
To find out about the work of Mind locally visit http://www.leedsmind.org.uk/ and discover more about Mia’s challenge and to help her reach her £500 target with a donation please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mia-oldroyd