Don raises an incredible £10,000 for Young People’s Mental Health

Don Harrington (Pictured above) ran for BLG Mind, meaning that his donation went directly to local service: Minds Up.

The incredible Don Harrington ran through four of London’s eight Royal Parks in 2 Hours and 44 minutes, all in the name of young people’s mental health.

Don is no stranger to the Royal Parks course. This is his second year running 13.1 miles in support of our Minds Up Programme – a mental health awareness initiative that wouldn’t have existed without Don in the first place. Minds Up, launched in 2021, was made possible through donations made by Don Harrington and Richard Stubbs, the families of two former pupils at Bromley secondary schools.

Don explained why Minds Up is so close to his heart, “Three years ago our lives were shattered when our daughter, Laura, died by suicide. She was a beautiful, talented young woman of 35, who had dedicated her life to the service of others through her work in the charity sector. The world is a much poorer place without her. My donation to BLG Mind will raise awareness of mental health amongst young people and encourage them to speak out and ask for support when they need it”.

This year, Don has more than doubled his initial target of £5,000. His life-changing donation comes at a time when young people in the UK have higher mental health needs than ever before (NHS Digital, 2020).

Karen Taylor, Service Manager of Minds Up said, “We cannot thank Don enough for his ongoing support. This incredible donation will help us reach more students during this time of real need… We want to ensure that children feel comfortable talking about their mental health and know who to turn to when they need support – our Minds Up Programme is doing just that”

A life-saving programme

What makes the Minds Up programme so successful is the fact it truly listens to what students need. By employing ‘Minds Up Influencers’: a group of enthusiastic 14-17-year-olds, Minds Up creates tailored workshops that fit the needs of different schools and year groups. Karen explained, “we cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one class won’t work for the next”.  

So far, the workshops have reached over 3659 students and covered topics ranging from exam stress to relationship issues. More importantly, Minds Up has encouraged 80 students to come forward and make their mental health problems known to their schools.

As a local Mind, we do all that we can to respond to the needs of people living in Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich and provide on-the-ground services that truly make a positive impact. Minds Up and Young Onset Dementia Activists are our two services entirely funded by donations. In other words, they wouldn’t exist without people like Don.

Interested in donating directly to your local Mind and supporting your local community? Find out how you can make a difference.