The Stirling University Law Society has had a great academic year, exceeding almost every fundraising target they set out to achieve. running events to equip their members for working in the industry, the Law Society has adapted and acclimatised to the virtual world COVID has thrown us head-first into with admirable ease.
Throughout February and March, the Law Society are encouraging their members to get out and be active, as much as someone is able to: “Move for Mental Health.” The society is raising funds for SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) through a Just Giving page, of which £523 has already been donated within the first couple of weeks, out of an £800 target.
Law Soc members are aiming to collectively run or walk 1923 miles collectively, in homage of SAMH’s founding date in 1923.
The goals of the campaign are to both raise money for a great cause and encourage members to get out and be more active during the pandemic- a feat which can often be difficult for individuals, but easier if doing so in a group, with group support.
Weekly challenges have been introduced as an incentive for Law Soc members, with scores/miles run being rest at the start of each week, and a ‘Weekly Champion’ chosen.
This may be who has ran or walked the most miles, or in the case of individuals who are unable to get out for whatever reason it may be simply who has promoted the event the most, or engaged with the idea wholeheartedly in some other way.
Social Secretary Claire Welsh has spearheaded the event, alongside two mental health conferences being held for members in tandem, with a third planned sometime soon.
She spoke to Brig about her creation of the event and her rationale for the fundraiser.
“After the success of the first mental wellbeing conference I held for the law society, I realised how important this supportive platform the society had was, especially for our first year members. I wanted to make the most of this supportive community we had created and so I decided to run a fundraiser for SAMH and promote mental wellbeing as a society.
“My thoughts were that this would create an incentive to get our members moving outside in the months of February and March which is not only great for wellbeing but also connects everyone because we are all fundraising and moving collectively for a common purpose. I am really proud of the society and the work we are doing to not only promote how important mental health is but also take action to support our members and stay connected in these unprecedented times!
“I really hope that by creating an open space where our members feel safe, supported and comfortable to share their experiences with mental health that they continue these practices on in their careers and inspire people to get talking about it!”
Academic co-ordinator and speaker at previous mental health conferences Jedd France also spoke about the society’s decision to put mental health firmly at the forefront of their priorities and events.
“The fundraiser is more than just a one-off event to raise money for an amazing organisation. It’s about tackling the stigma around mental health and raising awareness for the topic in general, something which we have aimed to do for a long time now.
“This is an issue that we as a Society feel very strongly about and we are always eager to engage our members in a way which will (hopefully) make them feel part of a community that cares about them. The fundraiser is our way of giving people another reason to get out of the house and exercise.
“This is so crucial during these testing times, just as much for your mental health as your physical health. So far it has been a great success, both on the fundraising side as well as the feedback from our participants.
“We are seeing people who have never had the chance to meet in real life come together and support each other. It’s been really great to see and long may it continue.”
First year student Rhona has found the initiative to be an extremely positive one.
“The initiative has been really good for first year members of the society to be able to feel like we are a part of a community, although we haven’t met the society properly we now have a strong sense of belonging within the society. Its also been so nice to be encouraged to get outside while adjusting to the online uni life.”
Featured Image: Brig Newspaper