An adventurous duo from Fraserburgh have raised more than £800 for a north-east service supporting people with mental health challenges after braving mud, ice, electricity and fire.
Kirsteen Scott (31), and Leean Steinbach (33), completed the gruelling 12-mile Tough Mudder last month – facing a course designed by the British Special Forces at Dalkeith - and donated their sponsorship money to Companions Befriending.
The charity, which is part of Mental Health Aberdeen (MHA), has provided valuable support to Kirsteen’s mother and that was the motivation for the intrepid pair.
Volunteers provide a listening ear, companionship and support to use community facilities and improve the quality of lives of those dealing with mental health challenges including depression.
Kirsteen said: “It was the first time we have taken part in Tough Mudder and it was a fantastic experience. We encouraged and supported each other through it, so it was as much about teamwork as it was about endurance.
“Befriending has hugely helped my mum through a difficult time, and she really enjoys the volunteer coming in to visit. With mental health often being overlooked and stigmatised, we are really proud to be raising awareness and funds for such a worthy cause.”
Kirsteen and Leean followed a strict training regime to prepare for the testing event, which included circuits, running, and fitness classes including Insanity and Metafit. With new obstacles added each year, the 2014 circuit was more challenging than ever.
Flora Todd, manager of the MHA Companions Befriending, said: “Donations are still coming in, but more than £750 has already been pledged to Kirsteen and Leean. It has been a fantastic effort and we’re very grateful to them.
“Befriending can play an important part in recovery, leading to increased self-esteem and self-confidence, and we appreciate all the support we get from the local community.”
Companions Befriending is just one of a range of resources provided by MHA, which is active in towns including Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Banff and Turriff. It matches reliable and well-trained volunteers with people in the local community dealing with mental health issues.
Resources include: emotional and practical support; information and advice; support with helping overcoming social isolation; links and access to other community resources; activities promoting mental wellbeing.
MHA was founded in 1950 and provides support services, counselling and advice to people affected by challenges related to mental health and wellbeing.