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Great York Walk to raise awareness of mental health

Posted on 5 August 2019

The University of York has launched the Great York Walk to support a charitable fund that will raise money to promote good mental health among members of the local community.


The 25 mile walk runs through historic York and some of its surrounding countryside

The fund, called Mentally Fit York, will also be used to support £2,000 Nursing Scholarships in mental health, as well as research projects looking to further our understanding of mental health issues and the barriers to accessing support services. 

Mentally Fit York forms part of the University’s £120 million fundraising campaign, York Unlimited, to help tackle some of the most pressing global challenges, such as ensuring good mental health, access to education, and job creation. 

Funding research

The Great York Walk is a 25 mile walk through historic York and some of its surrounding countryside, finishing at the University of York’s Campus West. The entry fee for walkers is £25, which will be refunded if they reach a £250 fundraising target for their walk. There is also a shorter 6.2 mile (10 k) route option.

All funds raised will enable the University to continue to carry out research into initiatives aimed at promoting good mental health and to improve the resources that are available to support the mental health of students, staff and the local community and beyond.

Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Saul Tendler said: “More than 900 staff at the University have been trained to promote good mental health, but there is more to do for staff, students and the wider community, we believe that people in the local area will have the skills and confidence to spot the signs of mental health issues and guide individuals towards the appropriate support services. 

“The Great York Walk is a health-driven outdoor communal event, which research has already started to show plays an important role in creating positive mental wellbeing.  If we can, at the same time, raise some money for the future of mental health care, then we will have created a legacy that our local community can be proud of.”

Mental health nursing 

Nursing Scholarships will total £6,000 over three years’ of undergraduate study. They have been established to allow mental health nursing students from low-income backgrounds to focus on their studies and placements, without the financial pressures of the programme. 

Councillor Carol Runciman, York’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health said “It is a great scheme to raise awareness of as many people as possible of issues surrounding good mental health. The funds raised will support some excellent work to train people in mental health awareness, as well as supporting scholarships for students going into mental health nursing. I hope as many people as possible will take part and everyone who can will give generously.”

The Great York Walk will take place on 12 October 2019.  More information and registration for the event can be found at The Great York Walk website.

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