Not for Profit

Published: July 17, 2020 | Updated: July 17, 2020

Magnifico! Challenge born out of lockdown by entrepreneurs raises amazing £42k for charity

Left to right: Dee Swinton, Dorset Mind; Ben Reynolds; Jamie Whisken; Ty Temel and Melanie Campbell, MoreROAR Marketing. Picture: James Bridle, www.FestivalPhotography.co.uk
By Andrew Diprose, editor

It began as an idea by two Bournemouth nightclub owners and a fitness coach to keep them focused during the lockdown – and ended with a magnificent £42,000 raised for Dorset Mind.

The amount raised – £42,088.80 to be precise – has been described as “life-changing” by the mental health charity.

Ty Temel, of Halo, and Ben Reynolds, of Lost Paradise, teamed up with Poole Town Captain Jamie Whisken to create the challenge, first reported on Dorset Biz News.

The initial target was £25,000.

Almost 200 people took part in ‘The June 500,’ which challenged people to travel 500 kilometres during the month by running, swimming, walking or cycling.

The distance is approximately the same as travelling from Bournemouth to Paris.

The idea was born from harnessing the benefits that exercise has on mental wellbeing.

Ty, Ben and Jamie themselves experienced this, having focused on improving their own fitness while their businesses were forced to close.

Ty said: “I didn’t have any definitive expectations of what we would achieve with #TheJune500 but it has superseded anything I could have imagined.

“The idea was to get people active and encourage them to get outdoors at a time when we all needed a little ‘push,’ so to speak.

“The result is that we created an active community of almost 200 people, who mobilised to raise over £42k for Dorset Mind.

“This is especially important because it’s during a time when their fundraising has taken a big hit because of the pandemic.

“The challenge has actually raised the charity the most donations of any individual event undertaken for them.

“To really challenge us, Ben, Jamie and myself did a mixture of sea swimming, running and cycling and decided to up our target from 500km to 1000km.

“For me, the challenge was about more than the exercise.

“In all honesty, it was a welcome distraction.

“Like many others who are trying to hold their businesses together, I have had to temporarily shut my businesses, cancel events planned this summer and even cancel my wedding.

“I’m absolutely delighted and overwhelmed with the outcome.

“Well done to everyone who took part, donated and supported.

“I’m looking forward to building on this to help mental health services.”

Ben said: “I’d like to add a huge thank you to the 187 people who have pushed through their comfort zones to complete this challenge.

“What a community we became – you couldn’t take ten steps at the beach without seeing a friendly face of someone taking part.

“Mental health is clearly something that resonates with so many people after what we’ve all experienced recently.

“We aim to keep the conversations flowing and share experiences to help reduce the stigma around the subject.

“This is especially important for us men, who find it hard to talk about.”

Jamie added: “Lockdown was, arguably, mentally one of the toughest times for everyone.

“My priority as a trainer in the fitness industry was to keep people in Dorset moving as this has real mental benefits, not just physical ones.

“That was a big part of the thinking behind The June 500 challenge.

“It has been especially rewarding to keep people mentally focused and active.

“Dorset Mind was a natural choice to team up with and I’m so pleased we’ve all raised so much.

“Congratulations to everyone who played a part.”

Marianne Storey, Chief Executive, Dorset Mind, pictured left, said she was “extremely grateful” to Ty, Ben and Jamie for leading such an “incredible challenge.”

She added: “Recent Sport England data shows that during lockdown 65 per cent of people said they were keeping active to manage their mental health.

“This has been crucial as we’ve had severe restrictions imposed that we’ve not experienced before.

“But not only has the challenge benefitted both physical and mental health, it also ticks every step of the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ recovery model that we use in our services to help support and maintain wellbeing.

“A real sense of community has grown as the challenge developed.

“Our amazing participants supported each other’s efforts as they documented their exercise online daily, mostly on Instagram.

“It’s been extremely exciting and touching to watch.

“The colossal amount of donations raised is life-changing and has come at a crucial time for the charity.

“We are astounded by the amount raised and would like to sincerely thank everyone that took part in the challenge or donated.

“We will do something significant with this amount to help support the local community, and to reflect the huge effort and dedication of our three founders – and also everyone that took part.”

Dr Andy Mayers, Dorset Mind Patron and Principal Academic at Bournemouth University, pictured right, said: “I am completely in awe of the epic endeavours of all who contributed to The June 500.

“The money raised is going to be so useful to overcome what has been a challenging time for us at Dorset Mind.

“On top of that, it is wonderful that this has brought so much positive awareness for mental health.

“These last few months have been difficult for everyone.

“The June 500 has been a beacon of light in that gloom.

“I am truly proud of everyone involved but particularly grateful to Ty, Ben and Jamie for making this possible.”

  • Dorset Mind and the founders of The June 500 have expressed their special thanks to Melanie Campbell of MoreROAR Marketing for using her experience to support the campaign and take part.