Your impact and stories The Difference We Make Congratulations to our Oxford Half Charity Champions! How did you spend last Sunday morning? Enjoying a lie-in? At work? Walking the dog? Wrapped up with a cuppa, watching your children from the touchlines? Or, arriving in Oxford City Centre from 7.30am; ready to take part in a lively, pre-race warm-up before making your way to your holding area and counting down to the 9.30am starting gun for the LimeLight Sport Oxford Half Marathon? This is how over 5000 people began their day on Sunday 16 October 2022, with our amazing team of enthusiastic Oxford Health Charity runners among them! Our 21 charity champions each challenged themselves to complete the 13.1-mile (21.1km) course, which began near Balliol and Trinity Colleges (Broad Street), passed through the village of Old Marston, crossed over the River Cherwell, went through Lady Margaret Hall, and around the iconic Radcliffe Camera before finishing on Parks Road. These marathon heroes were not only spurred on along the route by the live music playing at every mile but also by the crescendos of cheers emanating from friends, family members, Oxford Health Charity staff and members of the public as they made their way to the finish line. They all ran an amazing race, coming home within the 3 ½ hours time limit, with many achieving personal bests and seven of the team finishing in under 2 hours. Reflecting after the event, Rob Evans said: “It is an experience…From that great atmosphere at the Race Village to the nervousness of the start line. Those 13 miles were tough but the support and the music all-round the course made it feel like a real event. There was the camaraderie of giving a shout out to the runners, who I’d never met before, in their Oxford Health Charity t-shirts. And during those final miles knowing the effort was about raising money for our staff and patients’ needs. Not to mention that amazing feeling of putting the medal on at the end and knowing you achieved what you set out to do and all the hard work was worth it! Great day.” As for every race participant, everyone in the Oxford Health Charity team had their own personal reasons and motivations for running: to highlight the vital role Oxford Health Charity plays in supporting Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust patients and staff. to remember a colleague and raise funds to help continue their work. to support a specific Oxford Health Charity appeal or Oxford Health service. to raise greater awareness of mental health services across the Trust. to give something back to the NHS as a thank you for their help, support and care to make a difference in the world and invest in the future. Through their outstanding achievements our team have, to date, raised over £6200 for their chosen Oxford Health services and Charity appeals. If you haven’t yet had chance to make a donation to support your friends and colleagues for this event and would like to do so, the OHC Oxford Half team fundraising page can be found here. Oxford Health Charity would like to say a HUGE, heartfelt THANK YOU to all our Oxford Half 2022 runners: From our Oxford Health Foundation Trust Family: Steve Bowen; Dr Nick Broughton; Kelly Davies; Katarzyna Domanska; Rob Evans; Simon Jones; Juliet Le Masurier; Jo Pratt; Sir Philip Rutnam; Chris Walkling; Emma Wiggins And also: Kelly Ahmed; Chris Bradshaw; Robert Buican; Simon Cannings; Jack Cheung; Duncan Lorimer; Chloe Maxwell; Charlotte Roberts; Michelle Whittaker; Mark Willoughby Your efforts and achievements have been amazing and an inspiration to us all. Some more post-marathon thoughts from our wonderful team – Steve Bowen: “…the crowds were fantastic and thoroughly enjoyed the race and raising funds for the charity certainly spurred me on. Training hadn’t gone to plan due to the heat and illness but I was determined to get round. One highlight was seeing a man at the 10k mark running with no shoes on! OUCH, that must have hurt by the end! Another was speaking to the other Oxford Health Charity runners and at the 15k mark I tapped one on the back and started talking to him and it was our very own Dr Broughton!...I would definitely support the charity again but I might take a bit of time off….” Juliet Le Masurier: “It was such a lovely day, great atmosphere and fantastic route around our beautiful city. Very proud to be running on behalf of OHC!” Chris Walking: “Fantastic day – great to meet the other runners supporting the Oxford Health Charity and lovely support from the charity team! It’s a brilliant event…running through the streets of Oxford cheered on by the crowds. I’m so pleased to have had the chance to support OHC – looking forward to doing it again in 2023!” Mark Willoughby: “Yes, fantastic day. Little stiff this morning. Mad question is, when do we sign up to run for you again in Oxford Half 2023?” Feeling inspired? Then please email us to join Chris, Mark and the team for the Oxford Half on Sunday 15th October 2023 and raise some much-needed funds to support your local NHS community and mental health Trust.