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800 young people set to benefit from Marathon legacy

Stuart Appley

Pupils from Kirkbie Kendal School running at the launch of Brathay Trust 3.7 programme, Kirkbie Kendal School.jpg

Hundreds of young people are to benefit from funds raised in memory of Matt Campbell who died 3.7 miles before the finish line of the 2018 London Marathon.

The incredible response to Matt’s death, by people from around world, led to over 31,000 messages of support and to donations currently totaling £440,000 on his JustGiving Page.

The 29-year-old professional chef from Cumbria was hoping to raise £2,500 for Brathay Trust.

Now Matt’s family has agreed it will fund a Resilience programme called 3.7 – The schools-based programme is for pupils struggling with mental ill health, building their resilience to cope with difficult times in their lives.

In October, 550 young people helped to launch it at a special event at Matt’s old school, Kirkbie Kendal School, in South Cumbria. Twelve pupils from the school are amongst the first to benefit from the programme.

Simon Berry, High Sheriff of Cumbria, told pupils that resilience was critical to their development. He also said the thousands of runners and donors who had contributed to Matt Campbell’s fund would be very proud of the 3.7 programme designed to address this key issue for young people.

Brathay’s Chief Executive, Godfrey Owen, says Matt’s has left a remarkable legacy, as a result of people finding inspiring ways to finish his marathon for him:

Young people who struggle with low self-esteem, poor resilience or other mental health challenges including anxiety and stress will now get extra help through school.

There will also be support for those who have poor relationships with peers and adults and have little chance to take part in positive activities. The Resilience 3.7 Programme will boost pupils’ self- belief, their ability to cope with change – and recognising they have choices, as well as goal-setting and participating in healthy activities. There will be options to focus on the outdoors, conservation, healthy living or creativity.

Matt is a great example of a young person who explored new opportunities and experiences.

We know this plays a big part in increasing resilience which is all about not giving up, working hard to achieve your goals, coping with life’s knocks and knowing where to get help if needed. Resilience is a core part of mental wellbeing.

The Resilience 3.7 programme includes eight single day sessions away from school, plus a weekend residential in the Lake District, spread across one term. The programme is open to secondary schools across the north of England. Between 50 and 100 per cent of the cost will be met by the legacy fund.

Over 800 young people are expected to benefit from the programme over the next three years.

Image: Brathay Trust