Mental health nurse cycles 50km for 50 days to raise money for Maudsley Charity

Megan Kent, a mental health nurse for Lambeth Child and Adolescent Mental Health community team has cycled 50km every day for 50 days, to raise money for the Maudsley Charity. Her target of £1,500 will go towards a sensory wall in the waiting room of the Lambeth Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).  The Maudsley Charity is the official charity for South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts and exists to support innovations, research and service improvement, and raise public awareness and understanding about mental health.

Megan chose this particular challenge because the average length of stay for a young person in mental health services is around 50 days. She started it on Monday 13th May during Mental Health Awareness Week, and finishes her final ride on Monday 1st July. She particularly wanted to raise awareness of Body Image issues, the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, organised by the Mental Health Foundation (13-19 May 2019).

“I wanted to focus on body positivity and celebrate the incredible feats that can be accomplished with one’s body. Hopefully this will show more young women that sports are just as accessible for them as they are for boys.”

“As someone who has struggled and struggles to be positive about my body, I feel it’s important to show the young people I work with how to be kind to yourself and be proud of what our bodies can do”.

She has raised over half the money already and invites anyone who wants to help her fundraise to come on a ride with her and donate to the cause.

Her routine usually involves getting up very early, at 4.30am, cycling from Streatham to Richmond Park, where she does two and a half laps before returning home. On the weekends her friends and colleagues join her in the hills of Kent and Surrey.

“The weather’s not always been great, but thinking about when I’m working on the wards with the young people helps to keep me going – one of the children wrote a song which is on Spotify, so I listen to that too”.

The sensory wall will be installed in the waiting room of the Lambeth child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) on Black Prince Road. It will support those with autism and sensory needs, and help make the space more welcoming at a time that is quite frightening and stressful for young people coming to the service.

“This will hopefully create a more therapeutic and calming environment for the young people that come through its doors.”

The Maudsley Charity backs better care, recovery and prevention of mental illness. It works closely with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), which provides the UK’s widest range of mental health services, and the world renowned Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. It funds ground-breaking neurological and mental health research, service improvements and therapeutic programmes.

If you want to donate, please visit Megan’s JustGiving page here: JustGiving Crowdfunding Megan Kent