SLaM psychologist Ella runs the Royal Parks Half Marathon

09.10.14 Categories: Staff stories, Supporter stories

Autumn is well and truly upon us, bringing with it one of London’s most famous and picturesque road races. The Royal Parks Half Marathon starts and finishes in Hyde Park, following a route through four of the capital’s magnificent Royal Parks and past its most iconic landmarks.

Amongst the runners tackling the 13.1 mile route were many of our wonderful supporters, all raising money for South London and Maudsley (SLaM).

Clinical psychologist Ella McCabe was one of those runners, taking her dedication to SLaM even further by raising money for Carelink, a mental health service for children in foster care and their carers. Carelink is run by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and offers support to young people up to the age of 18 who go through emotional distress or behavioural difficulties, often as a result of challenging early life experiences that resulted in them being taken into care.

‘The majority of the children we see have experienced abuse or neglect growing up,’ says Ella. ‘Carelink gives them somewhere to talk about distressing things or helps them use play, art, or drama to express their feelings. Support is also given to foster carers around how best to help the child in their new home and to schools around how to support the child's development.’

Statistics show that 60 per cent of children in care experience some form of mental health difficulties and one third of children involved in the criminal justice system have been in care. Carelink’s services are vital in supporting the children of Southwark who find themselves in such circumstances.

Over 16,000 runners competed with around 50,000 spectators cheering them on around the route, ensuring it was a fantastic atmosphere on the day for all. Ella finished in an impressive 1 hour 57 minutes and raised over £525 for Carelink.

'The atmosphere carried me along and I was thrilled with my time,' says Ella. 'Walking up and down the stairs is still sore! But I'm nearly there and all my friend's and family's support and donations have made it well worth it.'

Inspired to show your support and become a fundrasier for SLaM? Find out more about ways to get involved.