Lancashire Mind are celebrating the culmination of our annual flagship fundraiser, Mental Elf, which raised nearly £10,000 for mental health services across the county.
Held at Witton Park, 150 festive elves completed a 5K fun run with live entertainments, a Christmas market and a family-friendly, dog agility course.
Supporters who were unable to attend the event in person also took part in a week-long walking/running/swimming challenge, which ramped the total kilometres travelled by supporters to 2,011 kms.
Commenting on the success of the event, Emma Bateson, Fundraising and Communications Lead at Lancashire Mind shared Lancashire Mind’s gratitude: “Thank you to everyone who supported Mental Elf 2021 - it was such a fantastic, fun event and wonderful to see so many people passionate about promoting positive mental health.
“This event aims to raise awareness and funds for mental health provision across the county and every penny stays within Lancashire. To be as inclusive as possible, we held a virtual and in-person event, which worked really well and allowed Mental Elves to take part across the whole of Lancashire.”
Rachel Phoenix, winner of the Best Dressed Elf competition and a passionate advocate for mental health awareness, said: "This is my first Mental Elf and I was really nervous as I've got quite severe physical health problems. The motivation I found from all the volunteers, the staff, the spectators, the other runners... was phenomenal.
“I got quite emotional when we were approaching the athletics track at the end - neither my friend nor I could quite believe that I had just walked five whole kilometres! For the past ten, twelve years the furthest I've walked will have been a mile. I'm so, so proud of myself; it shows me that actually, YES I CAN!”
Emma added: “More so than ever, our team felt inspired and privileged to have such incredible supporters and volunteers and we’d like to thank everyone who has supported us during such challenging times.
“Thank you to our generous corporate sponsors: Webbox Pet Food, Essential Industrial Services, SPAR wholesaler for the North of England, James Hall & Co., and Zebra.
“We simply would not be able to do what we do without the support of individuals, groups and businesses who support Mental Elf and fundraise for us throughout the year, helping us to work towards of vision of positive mental wellbeing for all.”
Live entertainment from local groups, Local Vocals, Preston Worldwise Samba Band, Positively Pawfect and AK Active, lifted everyone's spirits on the day of Mental Elf.