Walk, bake or wash cars to raise funds for schools wellbeing programme

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 October 2020

Ben Smith training for the 401 Foundation USA Challenge, which is due to take place in 2021.   Picture: 401 Foundation

Ben Smith training for the 401 Foundation USA Challenge, which is due to take place in 2021. Picture: 401 Foundation

401 Foundation

Portishead athlete Ben Smith, known for running 401 marathons in 401 days for charity, has launched a new wellbeing programme to support school children’s mental health.

Previous 401 school talk.   Picture: 401 FoundationPrevious 401 school talk. Picture: 401 Foundation

Ben is inviting schools and pupils to join him on the next challenge he is due to complete in 2021, to run and cycle 14,000 miles across 50 US States in 104 days, virtually, which forms part of a programme to support children’s physical and mental wellbeing.

The Schools Wellbeing Programme, which launched this month in the lead up to World Mental Health Day, is run by The 401 Foundation charity, which supports local community and grassroots projects that focus on mental wellbeing and building self-esteem and confidence.

Ben said: “At a time when mental health is so incredibly poignant, we wanted to create something which could not only support children returning to school but also teachers, parents and all those in the wider school community.

“The 401 Challenge changed my life and touched more people than I ever thought possible. Accomplishing extreme feats is the clearest, undeniable example that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.

Wellbeing programme virtual mission tracker board.    Picture: 401 FoundationWellbeing programme virtual mission tracker board. Picture: 401 Foundation

“I want to share that value of resilience with children across the UK and we felt that the USA Challenge offered an incredible opportunity to do that by inviting them to join us every step of the way, virtually.”

Pupils participating in the programme can choose from more than 100 activities, from running and walking to washing the car or baking, to count their steps and convert them into all important miles to complete the challenge.

Participating schools will also gain access to USA Challenge passports, reward and route trackers, medals and postcards as well as free online yoga and meditation classes by The Wild Box, designed for adults and children under 12.

The schools programme will help raise funds towards Ben’s target of £500,000 for The 401 Foundation.

Ben Smith training for the 401 Foundation USA Challenge, which is due to take place in 2021.   Picture: 401 FoundationBen Smith training for the 401 Foundation USA Challenge, which is due to take place in 2021. Picture: 401 Foundation

Fifteen per cent of funds raised by an education provider will be returned as a grant from the 401 Foundation to support the development of school mental health projects.

For more information on the USA Challenge Schools Wellbeing Programme, log on to www.401foundation.co.uk/theusachallenge


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the North Somerset Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the North Somerset Times