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PhD student walks 330 miles for charity

Eleanor Heptinstall, PhD student at the University, will raise money and awareness for the Scottish Association for Mental Health


By Katerina Vilemova

Courtesy of Eleanor Heptinstall


Eleanor Heptinstall, a PhD student at the University of Aberdeen, has decided to fundraise money and awareness for the SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health).


After experiencing difficulties regarding her mental health, she challenged herself to take on a charity walk for a good cause.


Eleanor will start her journey in May and will go from John O'Groats to Glasgow. She aims to raise £330 (a £1 for every mile) but hopes to raise even more.


Eleanor wrote in an email to The Gaudie:


‘The walk kind of started off as a chance to have time with my own mind to decide what I'm going to do after the PhD (PhD students commonly don't have a clue what to do at the end of the PhD, they just what to reach the end), and so to just decompress and think of where to go next. But the more I thought about it, given that so many people talk openly about the struggles of university life, let alone out of university, I realised such a walk may help charities such as SAMH to fund local as well as national substance and mental health causes, as well as providing more visibility that charities like SAMH are around to help people’.


Eleanor also challenges the University of Aberdeen community as well as her ex-colleagues from recently foreclosed John Lewis, all of whom might also suffer feelings of social exclusion.

Additionally, she would like to mention the Step Change, a debt charity that helped‌ her out of debt by pausing all interest payments, and also to give a shout out to the Aberdeen university discretionary fund and the COVID fund for their support.


Anybody who would like to support Eleanor’s journey can do on Facebook and in Just Giving.