Adam, Sam, Cath, Evie, and Ffion are lecturers and prospective students in Swansea University’s Nursing Department, and they are running Swansea Half Marathon in aid of Making Strides for Mental Health.

Student nurses play a crucial role in healthcare. They are the future frontline workers, caring for patients and contributing to the well-being of communities. It’s vital to recognise that student nurses are more than just their academic performance and their mental wellbeing matters, too.

Here is why they have decided to tackle 13.1 miles for Making Strides for Mental Health, in their own words.

Why did you want to run Swansea Half Marathon for Making Strides for Mental Health? 

Sam: As a Mental Health Nurse Lecturer who continues to work clinical shifts, I am very aware of the enormous pressures often placed on the mental health of young people and students generally. This pressure is often experienced to a greater extent by student nurses, and indeed, nurses generally. Swansea Half Marathon provides us an opportunity to highlight this, whilst also raising some funds to support the mental wellbeing of student nurses here in Swansea University.

Cath: The Swansea Half Marathon brings together a supportive community of runners, volunteers, and spectators, who want to make a difference to others. I want the department of nursing to be a part of making a difference to our nursing student body, by raising money to help them in times of need. Our nurses are always helping others, and to enable them to continue this, we need to ensure they are resilient and cared for.

Evie and Ffion: We are looking to study in the Nursing department and feel that it is vital to make every student’s experience a positive one, from those who are currently studying nursing, to students looking to start – whilst keeping healthy and raising money for a good cause.

Adam: It is a physical and mental challenge, that I wanted to prove to myself that I could achieve. As nurses, we need resilience to do our job to the best of our abilities. Running in the half marathon is all about resilience, digging deep, and believing you can achieve it. 

Have any of you run competitively before? 

Cath: I have never run long distances competitively before. In my school days, I represented Wales in athletics, but at very short distances - so this run will be fun! I am being a ‘typical Nurse’ thinking “I will just get in there and get it done!”

Sam: Whilst I was historically a keen runner, I have certainly let things slip in the last year or so. This event provides me with a well needed "kick up the bum" to lace my trainers up and get back out there!

Adam: I completed the Snowdonia mountain marathon - the hardest race I've ever competed in. 

Ffion: Yes.

Tell us about how you’ll be training in the run up to the race.

Evie and Ffion: We will be completing short sessions in the week to fit in with our revision and exam tables and will then do longer runs on weekends.

Cath: My training will involve tackling short distances every day, and longer runs on the weekend. I am also running in beautiful areas with the girls, and for motivation, we try to plan routes with a coffee shop at the end as a reward!

Adam: I'll be combining longer runs with strength training as well as adding in mobility exercises. 

Tell us about anything special you’ll be doing to fundraise.

Cath: Fundraising has been undertaken by everyone in the department, not just those of us who are running, it is a real team effort -  and this is what nursing is about working together . We have amazing staff who are organising a sponsored dog walk, bake sale and raffle, and on race day, others will be there with collection buckets, cheering us on along the route. Without their support, undertaking this challenge would not be possible – nor as much fun!

Adam: Lots of different activities, however, mostly I'll be accessing the amazing support of colleagues, friends, and loved ones.

Evie and Ffion: We are sharing our fundraising page with friends on social media, and they have raised over £150 of our target so far.

Cath with her dog

Cath Norris - Associate Professor - Medicine Health and Life Science

If you would like to sponsor the team, you can do so via their JustGiving page. By donating you are ensuring that our student nurses receive the care they need to become compassionate and resilient professionals – Thank you.