There’s just a few hours to go and only a few hundreds pounds left to raise for the 12-strong ‘Oxford Half for Oxford Health’ (OH4OH) team running the city’s big 13.1 mile event on Sunday.
Our determined runners will be gathering in the race village at University Parks at 8.30am to limber up before pounding the streets in aid of our patients and colleagues.
A service director, ward manager, social workers and therapists are among the team of fitness fans striding out to raise £3,000 for a cause close to their hearts – an outdoor gym to boost the wellbeing of mental health patients and staff.
The dashing dozen will be darting through historic city streets to raise money for Oxford Health Charity and to support a fund to create an outdoor gym that will benefit forensic patients and staff Littlemore Mental Health Centre.
Keen runner Emma Croft, Oxford Health’s forensic allied health professional lead, is leading the charge. She said: “Our Littlemore site covers a variety of adult mental health wards and supported living housing. Many of our service users are with us for extended periods and have limited access to gyms or wellbeing activities outside of the wards.
“We believe outdoor gym equipment on the Littlemore meadow site will really enhance the area giving people a beautiful place to exercise while enjoying the benefits of fresh air and nature.
“We’ll be working with our patients and service users to listen to their views and suggestions and develop something truly wonderful that will make a huge difference to everyone. Exercise, activity and fresh air boosts everyone’s mental health.”
Emma has signed up Vanessa Odlin, service director for Oxfordshire and BSW mental health services; Andrea Davis, social care lead; Vicky Drew, apprenticeships lead; Julian Ellis, forensic music therapist and Darren Davies, forensic health and fitness intstructor.
Among other runners are Martyn Smith, Wenric ward manager; Kirsty Smith, PEACE coordinator; David Allison, forensic service manager and Douglas Green, clinical rrainer in learning and development.
They are all hoping for lots of support from friends, colleagues and family to help smash their fundraising target and to cheer them on their way on half marathon day.