Thursday 5 March is University Mental Health Day and Sunderland recently hosted British charity activist Phil Packer, inviting staff and students to get involved in Row Britannia challenge.
Row Britannia is a collaboration of organisations and individuals who are determined to provide the best possible mental health, fitness and wellbeing support to students and young people.
In addition to the extraordinary work that they and their organisations currently provide, all are all uniting in support of the vision of Row Britannia; the platform, the campaign and the event.
Phil explained the background behind the challenge having been seriously injured while on military duty in Iraq.
He was initially told he would never walk again but has regained mobility following further operations.
Mr Packer has completed a number of physical challenges since the accident and planned to row around the UK but was advised not to by specialists due to the threat of further damaging his spine.
This is how the Row Britannia for Sport Relief challenge came about challenging teams to row 2020 miles as a group.
“Through an extraordinary collaboration of partner organisations, Row Britannia will provide a UK-wide platform, campaign and event that will bring together universities, colleges, education and sports governing bodies, British Sporting Icons and communities.
“The Row Britannia Challenge for Sport Relief has the potential to involve every university and college student in the UK. If every university and college enters a team and raises £3000, they could raise a total of £1.5million for Sport Relief.
“In addition to raising vital funds, the positive awareness of mental health, fitness and wellbeing that they would raise within their communities could be extraordinary.”
The challenge is open until 6 June 2020 with donations open now.
Staff and students are encouraged to get involved in the challenge. There is no limit on how many or few miles you contribute towards the 2020 overall miles, and any donations welcome.
The team at CitySpace will have rowing machines open to all with buckets for donations available.
You can also donate online via this link https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/uosrow2020