Student raises thousands of pounds for mental health charities in memory of friend

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A Sport and Exercise Sciences student has put in a marathon effort and raised almost £12,000 for three charities in memory of his friend.

Owain Philips raised a staggering £11,513 – smashing his initial £7,500 target – by taking part in a 4x4x48 challenge in honour of a childhood friend who passed away last year following a period of ill mental health.

Owain Philips

The challenge involved running four miles, every four hours over a 48-hour period, and the funds Owain raised are to be split between the Movember, 2 Wish Upon a Star, and Get the Boys a Lift charities.

Owain, originally from Carmarthen, west Wales, said: “Me and my friend Llyr had been close friends since Year Eight and I have a lot of great memories of him, so I felt as if I needed to do something to honour these memories.

“I chose two of the charities as they were more local and helped people in my home area and the others as it is a broad charity that helps people across the country.

“All mental health charities do great work towards helping people, but I chose Get the Boys a Lift because it is a well-known mental health charity in west Wales which offers a drop-in service. I think this is a huge help for people struggling with mental health issues because it normalises getting help and makes it less of a big deal to ask for support.

“2 Wish Upon a Star is a charity based in Wales which supports families that have lost a child or young adult suddenly, or a in a traumatic way. I picked this charity because it helps support the friends and family that are left behind.

“Movember is a charity that focuses on helping men and a big part of their effort is campaigning and raising awareness around men’s mental health.”

Owain, aged 20, started running during the first lockdown to ‘pass the time and to get the heart going while gyms were shut’, but had to get in some regular training to ensure he was at peak fitness levels for the challenge.

He said: “The challenge itself went smoothly. The weather wasn’t great – it was windy and pouring with rain but that just added to the challenge, and made it that much better to finish.

“I feel proud about the amount that I have raised and I glad I’ve been able to support mental health charities. The money will go far in helping these organisations to support more people in the future.”

There is still time to donate to Owain’s challenge the following link: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/owain-phillips-2