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Five people holding a large size cheque on the beachpresented for The June 500 Challenge


PRESS RELEASE: Local entrepreneurs create The June 500 and raise over £42,000 for local mental health

Local Bournemouth nightclub owners, Ty Temel of Halo and Ben Reynolds of Lost Paradise teamed up with Fitness Coach and Poole Town Captain Jamie Whisken to create a challenge that has inspired the local community to raise over £42,000 for local mental health charity, Dorset Mind, whilst also giving them a focus in lockdown.

Almost 200 people took part in ‘The June 500.’

It challenged people to travel 500 kilometres in the month of June by running, swimming, walking or cycling. The distance is approximately the same as travelling from Bournemouth to Paris – and no mean feat to achieve.

The idea was born from harnessing the benefits that exercise has on mental wellbeing. The three founders have experienced this themselves, having focused on improving their own fitness whist their businesses have closed.

The timing of the challenge was impeccable and related to it’s appeal. People needed something positive to concentrate on after several months of tough restrictions in lockdown.

The June 500 – more than just exercise

Ty says, I didn’t have any definitive expectations of what we would achieve with #TheJune500. But I can tell you it has superseded anything I could have imagined.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. They needed to cover 500km during the month with any form of exercise. 

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. This 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 personally, 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.

Reducing the stigma

Ben comments, 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 10 steps at the beach without a 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 adds, 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.

Thank you from our CEO

Dorset Mind’s Chief Executive, Marianne Storey comments, “We’re extremely grateful to Ty, Ben and Jamie for leading this incredible challenge. Recent Sport England data shows that during lockdown 65% of people said they were keeping active to manage their mental health. And this has been crucial as we’ve had severe restrictions imposed that we’ve not experienced before.

The challenge has not only benefitted both physical and mental health, it ticks every step of the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ recovery model. We use this 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 or donated. We will do something significant with this amount to help support the local community. It will reflect the huge effort and dedication of our three founders – and also everyone that took part.”

Our Patron comments

Dorset Mind Patron and Principal Academic at Bournemouth University, Dr Andy Mayers, added, 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 this 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. TheJune500 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.

Special thanks from Dorset Mind and the founders of The June 500 to Melanie Campbell of MoreROAR Marketing for using her experience to support the campaign and take part in it.

To find out how you can get support to get active for your mental health, follow this link.

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