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Fochabers woman's cycling challenge to raise funds for mental health charity Penumbra


By Jonathan Clark

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Amy Baillie is cycling for ten hours at an Inverness mental health facility on Sunday to raise money for mental health charity Penumbra. ..Picture: Becky Saunderson..
Amy Baillie is cycling for ten hours at an Inverness mental health facility on Sunday to raise money for mental health charity Penumbra. ..Picture: Becky Saunderson..

A MORAY woman is raising funds for a mental health charity with a mammoth spinathon challenge.

Student nurse Amy Baillie (30), from Fochabers, will cycle on an exercise bike at a mental health facility in Inverness for ten hours straight on Sunday, July 25, to raise money for Penumbra.

Amy has already raised more than £1000 for charity, with her aim now to reach £2000 – while bringing mental health issues into the spotlight.

Having worked with mental health patients herself, she understands the struggle many have faced during the coronavirus pandemic.

She said: "Covid has impacted a lot of people. I've worked with mental health for five years and it has got so much worse during the pandemic.

"People have felt their mental health suffering due to job losses, not seeing family or being unwell.

"I just wanted to do something to bring a bit of attention to this and I've been taken aback by all the support. It's been amazing and I really appreciate it.

"Raising £2000 is the aim now but I didn't see it going past £300 – so the fact I raised this much, I was really emotional about it."

Amy, who has already been on a remarkable journey during lockdown having lost seven stone in weight since January 2020, is hoping the task will motivate some of the mental health facility's residents.

She will have an extra bike beside her throughout the duration of her cycle, and is asking residents to cycle short stints with her.

Amy Baillie is cycling for ten hours at an Inverness mental health facility on Sunday to raise money for mental health charity Penumbra. ..Picture: Becky Saunderson..
Amy Baillie is cycling for ten hours at an Inverness mental health facility on Sunday to raise money for mental health charity Penumbra. ..Picture: Becky Saunderson..

"I have always been into spinning and cycling, I go to the gym a lot and have lost seven stone since 2020," she said.

"I wanted to challenge myself after the weight loss and raise some money for charity to give something back.

"It's a motivational task for the residents, too, and gives them a little encouragement.

"I've seen some of them have lost a little drive to do things so I'm asking them for their help to help me get through the cycle."

While the bike is stationary, the cycle will be roughly equivalent to 120 miles – or the distance between Amy's hometown of Fochabers and Dundee.

Mental health charity Penumbra, the benefactors of the challenge, are delighted to receive the support.

Fiona Milne, of Penumbra, said: "We are so in awe of the inventive lengths our brilliant community of supporters go to in support of our work, and we're all rooting for Amy as she prepares for her epic spinathon.

"Lockdown has seriously impacted on our ability to take part in public events.

"That's why we are just so grateful that we have people like Amy helping to raise awareness of our support services and the importance of good mental wellbeing."

The challenge begins at 8.30am on Sunday. To follow updates and donate, visit www.facebook.com/donate/2990282751194717.


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