Three Lloyds Banking Group colleagues based at the Halifax offices at the Gasworks in Belfast will put their best foot forward later this month to take part in a gruelling ‘Run the Branch’ challenge, aiming to raise as much money as possible for Mental Health UK.
Over six days, Jonny Lindsay, Martin Caldwell and Stuart Campbell will attempt to take in 17 Halifax Bank branches across Northern Ireland, running a staggering 145.5 miles, the equivalent to 5.5 marathons.
The route, which starts in central Belfast on July 5, will pass through Lisburn, Lurgan, Portadown, Newry, Enniskillen, Londonderry, Ballymena and Bangor. The runners will have a well-deserved rest day on July 7, before donning their running shoes once again to complete the epic journey back to Belfast on July 11.
The group is aiming to raise funds for Lloyds Banking Group’s official 2019 charity partners Mental Health UK and Mindwise. The charity, which is close to the hearts of all three of the amateur athletes, provides crucial advice, information and support to those affected by mental health problems across the nation.
Jonny Lindsay, who works in the Credit Card Fraud team explains his reasons for taking on the challenge: “Having started running half marathons at 19 and overcoming Leukemia as a teenager, I quickly developed a love of raising money for charity through running. I’ve ran in cities including Amsterdam, Rome and Paris and now at the age of 45, I’ve just completed my 158th marathon. The ‘Run the Branch’ challenge could be the toughest yet, but I’m really excited at the prospect of completing it and raising lots of money for Mental Health UK and Mindwise in the process!”
This is the third consecutive year that Lloyds Banking Group has chosen Mental Health UK and Mindwise as its charity partner and has raised more than £8million since the partnership began in 2017.
As a result of the funds raised so far, Mental Health UK and Mindwise have been able to launch a Mental Health & Money Advice Service, produced a mental health information guide and is on track to open 40 new support groups in isolated communities across the UK by 2020.
Commenting on the upcoming marathon, Jim McCooe, Lloyds Banking Group’s ambassador for Northern Ireland, said: “Out of the one in four people in the UK that are affected by mental health problems every year, research suggests around 300,000 lose their jobs because of it. This can often lead to these individuals encountering financial difficulties with nowhere to turn for help.
“Through the many inspired fundraising activities like Run the Branch that our colleagues get involved with every year, we’re helping to raise awareness of the challenges facing those with a mental health diagnosis and how employers can provide better support. We’re all really proud of Jonny, Martin and Stuart and wish them all the best for this epic challenge.”
The partnership with Mental Health UK and Mindwise is part of Lloyds Banking Group’s Helping Britain Prosper plan, which aims to help the UK both economically and socially.