A Richmond student has set herself the challenge of running around six miles a day for 12 days to raise money for mental heath charity Mind.
Mia Oldroyd, 17, a year 13 student at Richmond Sixth Form, said she chose the charity after discovering the positive impact regular exercise can have on emotional wellbeing.
After a very low two years in her life, Mia decided to take control of the way she felt by pushing herself with schoolwork, fitness and healthy eating.
She said that 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 making small daily changes of behaviours and challenges, are far more beneficial than short-term fixes when it comes to supporting mental health issues.
Since making these changes Mia has been training five to six times per week , and has found it a way de-stressing 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 results of AAA* in her PPEs (pre-public examinations) and has a place at the University of Nottingham to study Cognitive Neruroscience.
Mia said: “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.”
To find out about the work of Mind locally visit http://www.leedsmind.org.uk/
For more information on Mia’s challenge and to help her reach her £500 target with a donation visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mia-oldroyd