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Spalding student nurse Georgia to go extra mile for Samaritans




HALF-MARATHON: Student nurse Georgia Mae Bailey is in training for the 13.1 mile Cambridge Half-Marathon in March to raise money for Samaritans. Photo supplied.
HALF-MARATHON: Student nurse Georgia Mae Bailey is in training for the 13.1 mile Cambridge Half-Marathon in March to raise money for Samaritans. Photo supplied.

A student nurse from Spalding is putting people before pride to run a half-marathon for charity.

Georgia Mae Bailey (18) is in training with her university running group for the Cambridge Half-Marathon on Sunday, March 4, which she has entered to raise money for Samaritans.

During my time so far as a student nurse, I have come into contact with so many people from so many walks of life and it has really helped me understand how to help and educate those in need
Georgia Mae Bailey, of Spalding

Combining her training with medical studies at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, Georgia is following up her decision to sign up as a Samaritans volunteer by fundraising for the counselling and volunteer charity as well.

Georgia, a former student at Spalding High School and Spalding Grammar School’s sixth form, said: “Originally, I was going to run for pride and self-satisfaction.

“However, I recently went to a Samaritans’ information evening and signed up to become a new volunteer.

“During my time so far as a student nurse, I have come into contact with so many people from so many walks of life and it has really helped me understand how to help and educate those in need.

“Sometimes, all it took was for someone to just stop and listen to them.”

Georgia took up running seriously a year ago as part of leading an active sporting life which also included playing rugby.

Two years ago, Georgia and a friend skydived from 13,000ft to raise more than £1,600 for children’s charity Make-a-Wish Foundation and then went on a 5km “Colour Dash” for St Barnabas Hospice.

Georgia said: “I specifically started volunteering with Samaritans because of my new role as a student nurse which has shown me the extent of the crisis affecting mental health services in England.

“In my opinion, it’s underfunded at a time when more and more young people are struggling with mental mealth issues. Samaritans is a volunteer-led organisation and, as well as supporting people who need emotional support, our volunteers undertake outreach in the community, fundraise, and take on administrative roles as well.

“All of these are vital to ensuring that the service remains available round the clock, every day of the year, to people from all around the UK.”

Georgia has set herself the twin target of finishing the 13.1 mile run in under three hours and raising at least £250 for Samaritans.

She said: “As a Samaritans volunteer, I’m only required to give up three hours of my time a week which really isn’t a lot when you think about it.

“Running the Cambridge Half-Marathon for Samaritans will, hopefully, encourage teenagers to get involved in suicide prevention and helping others in times of need.

“For myself, I’m learning so much more about mental health and just how to listen.”

To sponsor Georgia, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/georgia-mae-bailey1#ARUCHM18

• Volunteers at Samaritans’ 200 branches in the UK and Ireland spent an estimated 123,000 hours helping people over the Christmas and New Year period.

The charity’s startling revelation was followed up by confirmation that more than 11,000 volunteers worked over the festive season to help people with mental health, loneliness, isolation and family issues.

From its formation in 1953, Samaritans has grown into a charity that responds to more than 5.7million calls a year, including about 10,000 calls on Christmas Day alone.

Ruth Sutherland, Samaritans chief executive officer, said: “If you are dealing with difficult thoughts and feelings, the festive season can make everything seem worse.

“Whether you are on your own or feeling alone in a crowd, we don’t want anyone to struggle with relationship problems, physical health, violence, abuse, bereavement, drug and alcohol misuse.”

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