DORSET Mind are challenging people to cover 500km this June to raise money, get fit and improve their mental well-being.

Local charity Dorset Mind have relaunched their unique fundraiser 'the June 500' which challenges people to cover 500km (the distance from Bournemouth to Paris) between June 1 and 30. 

Last year nearly 200 people took part in the challenge which raised more than £42,000 for the charity.  

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Local Bournemouth businessmen Ty Temel, Jamie Whisken and Ben Reynolds, founders of R1SE Gym, have teamed up with Dorset Mind once again to inspire local people to reap the benefits of exercise on mental health and raise vital funds for the mental health charity at the same time.  

Bournemouth Echo:

Ben Reynolds.(second left), Jamie Whisken (centre) and Ty Temel, (second right) handing over a cheque for £42,000 to representatives from Dorset Mind after last year's June 500.

Almost 200 people took part in ‘the June 500’ last year, which 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 is no mean feat to achieve.

The trio intend to smash the funds they raised last year making a big difference to the charity which has seen a drop in income during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The original idea was born from harnessing the benefits that exercise has on mental wellbeing.

The three founders experienced this themselves, having focused on improving their own fitness whist their businesses were forced to close during the lockdowns.   

This year, they believe the challenge will be a fantastic motivator as people are returning to work and their ‘normal lives’ – they may have less spare time but more of a need to focus on their mental wellbeing.

Bearing this in mind, the trio encourage people to enter in pairs, groups or teams to help spread the distance.

They know that raising funds is even more important for Dorset Mind this year as demand for their services soared during lockdown - and shows no signs of slowing. 

Ty said:“We were absolutely blown away by the effect the challenge had last year, it brought a real sense of community and togetherness when people needed it most.

"It was such a success; we feel compelled to do it again in 2021. 

"We had 200 people involved last year, plus many donations and supporters, we would love to get the same or even more this year to support mental health.” 

Fundraising is even more important for Dorset Mind this year as demand for their services soared during lockdown - and shows no signs of slowing. 

Ben said: “I’m excited for us to launch #TheJune500 again in 2021. This is a success story for mental health that we want to build upon and grow.

"Last year, the challenge brought togetherness at a time of separation. We united behind this amazing campaign and it was so touching to see all the social posts and messages of the community getting mobilised and engaged.

"As the world moves faster in 2021, the need for community spirit, a personal challenge and increased physical movement is key to people embracing and preparing themselves for the new normality.

"Mental health awareness is more crucial now than ever, so we want to facilitate raising funds and increasing conversations.” 

The challenge made a real difference to so many lives across Dorset that the trio have felt compelled to do it again this year.

Jamie added: “It seems a ‘no-brainer’ to do #TheJune500 again this year. We were taken back not only by the amount raised last year, but the real affect it had on mental wellbeing.

"We all had feedback and messages of thanks for motivating people to get out and about. It is just as crucial a year that we maintain that focus and prioritise taking time for ourselves and look after our minds.” 

Dorset Mind's chief executive, Marianne Storey said: “We’re extremely grateful to Ty, Ben and Jamie for leading this incredible challenge again. The impact their fundraising had for Dorset Mind last year was colossol – they helped us stabalise during very uncertain times for the charity. This in turn enabled us to provide support for people that needed our help to survive lockdown. 

Last year the pandemic forced us all to became very aware about our own mental health and we encouraged people to have open conversations about their wellbeing. This year we hope The June 500 will achieve this and help us provide a wide range of 1-2-1 and group therapies for people to access when they do want to reach out for our support.” 

For more information about the 1-2-1 and group support Dorset Mind offers adults and young people across Dorset, or if you would like to contribute or volunteer to help this essential charity, please see Dorset Mind's website: