Not for Profit

Published: June 19, 2020 | Updated: June 19, 2020

Mental health charity hails ‘dream event’ as lockdown fitness challenge set to raise £25k

Ty Temel (left), Jamie Whisken (centre) and Ben Reynolds.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

An idea hatched by two Bournemouth nightclub owners and a fitness coach to keep them focused during the lockdown is on course to raise £25,000 for one of Dorset’s best-known charities.

#TheJune500 ‘Bournemouth 2 Paris’ Challenge has already raised £15,000 for mental health charity Dorset Mind with a further fortnight still to go.

Nearly 180 people are now taking part.

Each has pledged to cover a total of 500 kilometres during June by walking, running, cycling or swimming.

That’s approximately the distance from Bournemouth to Paris.

So far the participants have done the equivalent of going around the world.

The challenge is the idea of Ty Temel, of Halo Bournemouth, and Ben Reynolds, of Lost Paradise, together with their personal trainer, Jamie Whisken, Owner of ReDefine Training and a player with Poole Town Football Club.

Ty, 32, said: “I’ve worked closely with Dorset Mind for a number of years now on various fundraising events.

“This has been an extremely challenging time for both Ben and I.

“For me, it’s seriously affecting both personal and professional plans with the clubs shut, all events cancelled or postponed and even having to cancel our wedding this year.

“It has been an important focus for me mentally and given me some purpose. I hope it helps others too.

“We decided that we’d launch the challenge with the aim of not just helping ourselves but also others in staying both physically and mentally fit.

“The reaction has been amazing.

“I’d like to say an enormous, and heartfelt, thank you to everyone taking part and everyone donating.”

Ben, 36, pictured paddleboarding with his dog, said he had been “overwhelmed” by the response to the challenge.

He added: “Ty, Jamie and I have excluded walking but we’ve done everything else, including cycling in the Purbecks, from Bournemouth to Sandbanks and also the New Forest.

“This whole challenge has been totally reactive. It was put together in days.

“All our initial financial targets – £3,000, £5,000 and £10,000 – have been smashed. We’re now hoping to raise at least £25,000.

“This has been an incredibly tough time.

“Lost Paradise has been closed as has been my wife’s dental business.

“The challenge has been a welcome diversion and I’m really excited at what we’ve achieved.”

Dee Swinton, Dorset Mind’s Income Generation and Marketing Manager, pictured left, said #TheJune500 Challenge could not have come at a better time for the charity.

She added: “Sport and exercise are proven to improve mental wellbeing.

“The June 500 Challenge is a bit of a dream event for us, combining awareness with fundraising too.

“If we hit £25,000 this amount is incredibly life-changing, even life-saving.

“It can save people a lifetime of distress and help empower people to help themselves

“For instance, we could provide a bespoke programme of education and support in five local schools – helping up to 12,500 young people, parents and teachers.

“Ty has been an important charity partner, working with us since 2018.

“He is hugely passionate about mental health awareness, especially among men.

“It’s been so good working with Ty, Ben, Jamie and also Melanie Campbell, of More ROAR marketing, on this.

“To reach £25,000 would be an amazing amount in such a relatively short space of time.”

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