At 10:30am on Sunday 21st April, Evie was waiting for a klaxon to sound. Joined by her Mum, Louise, and another 1250+ runners, she stood at the start line of one of Wiltshire’s most popular 10K events – the St George’s Day race in the market town of Corsham.

The circular route that lay ahead would take them along the edge of the historic town from the football club, climbing gradually upwards to reach the course peak (at the 4km point), then heading out into the beautiful Wiltshire countryside to the village of Neston and onto Pound Pill (the last incline at 9km), before completing the final descent back to Corsham Football Club.

To help prepare themselves for the big day, Evie and Louise completed weekly training sessions which not only helped to improve their physical fitness but also boosted their mental health. They explained:

Evie: “I took the training fairly easy; a few runs a week...I really enjoyed going out for the runs as they clear my head, and I can just listen to my podcasts.”
Louise: “The benefits of it are not just physical, it's a great way to get mental clarity and to get some sun on your face and air in your lungs. It's a great reset when your head is noisy.”

While all participants had their own reasons for entering the event, this year’s race held particular significance for Evie and her family as it represented a key milestone in Evie’s recovery from anorexia nervosa. Louise explained:

“I know for Evie, when watching the race last year, she was desperate to take part but she was in no way well enough and it became a real goal during recovery…”

Any pre-race nerves that may have crept in soon disappeared as the event began. With the weather ideal for running, both Evie and Louise quickly relaxed into the race as they made their way along the scenic Cotswold route and they were thrilled to find, on crossing the finish line, that they had both achieved personal best times – with Evie finishing 2nd in her age category!

At times when it became hard to continue, Louise and Evie were spurred on by the many friends and family members who were there to support them – some had even travelled from Wales!

Evie: “Some people I knew and some I didn’t, but they all cheered you on regardless. Crossing the line felt really good, after I had sprinted the last 200m as hard as I could. My Dad and brother cheered me on from the crowd and it was really nice seeing them right at the end at the final push.”

But it wasn’t just seeing those familiar faces that helped to give Evie and Louise a boost around the course – or the thought of the well-earned medal, or even the ice cream in the race goodie bag waiting for them! – it was also their motivations for taking on this 10K challenge…

…to celebrate how far they had all come:

Evie: “Passing everyone cheering at the finish, reminded me of where I was last year and how far I had come. Being physically able to run and mentally being able to fuel properly for it is something I don’t take for granted.”
Louise: “What spurred me on whilst running was thinking about the last year of Evie's recovery and whilst the run felt hard, and at times I wanted to stop, nothing was as tough as recovery. Digging deep and pushing on is something we are well practised at now…it really felt like a family achievement. We all got through it together and are now out the other side.”

…and to raise funds for our West Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Fund.

Through their determination to take on this ambitious running challenge, Evie and her family raised an amazing £536.25 for our West Community CAMHS Fund.

Speaking to the Oxford Health Charity team after the event, Evie and Louise explained what the support from the Melksham Community CAMHS team* has meant to them during Evie’s recovery:

Evie: “Knowing who for and why I was running made me feel really powerful and proud. I decided to run the race in aid of CAMHS because of the amount of support they have given me over the years. Without them I wouldn’t have been able do it. I have battled and beaten anorexia nervosa twice, which has been an immense journey for me and my family. CAMHS gave me the support that I needed. Thank you CAMHS for everything you’ve given me and enable me to do today.”
Louise: “The care we received from Melksham CAMHS saved Evie’s life and helped us as a family beyond measure. Whilst recovering from anorexia is done within the family home, we wouldn’t have managed it without the wider support from the team at CAMHS. The regular check-ins, cognitive behavioural therapy, a friendly face and support were critical to beating it twice.”

The Oxford Health Charity team would like to say a HUGE thank you to Evie and her family for their amazing support for the team at Melksham CAMHS. The money they have raised will make a real difference to service users and we are now working closely with the Melksham team to determine how these funds can be best used to enhance the experiences of those in need of their care and support.

Feeling inspired to take on the Corsham St George’s Day 10K 2025 (Sunday 27th April) in support of Melksham CAMHS or another Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust service? Sign-up details will be posted here closer to the date.

If running isn’t your thing, but you would like to make a donation to Melksham CAMHS, or any other Trust service or Oxford Health Charity fund, please visit our online donation page: Make a Donation.

*Melksham Community CAMHS is based at Melksham Community Hospital. They are a specialist service that helps children and young people who are struggling with a range of different mental health issues. Their highly skilled team aim to support service users throughout their recovery, offering coping strategies to help those in their care to deal with and manage everyday life. More details about Melksham CAMHS can be found here.