Local mum to run metric marathon to raise money for Perinatal Service

24 September 2018

A local mother is hoping to raise money for the Cheshire and Merseyside Perinatal Mental Health Service, by running the Chester Metric Marathon on Sunday 7 October.

Rhiannon Bevan, a 34 year-old marketing executive, originally from London, who now resides in Cheshire, is hoping to raise funds for the service. This is after it provided invaluable support to her after the birth of her son, Max.

The Cheshire and Merseyside Perinatal Mental Health Service was established in summer 2017, aiming to provide mental health support to new mothers in the area. Jointly provided by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, it is a great example of the local health system, working together for the benefit of people in the region.

This is not the first time Rhiannon has run for charity. Previously she had taken part in the Royal Parks half marathon in London to raise money for the Mind Mental Health charity. She has also run the Chester full marathon before. However, this is her first metric marathon, covering a distance of 26 kilometres (16 miles).

When asked why she is undertaking this latest effort, she is clear in her ambition.

She says, “I just want to return the favour, by helping them as they helped me. They really were a fantastic help to me. I did not have to spend anything for the help that I received. I also want to help raise awareness of the service as well.”

Rhiannon was referred to the service by a community midwife following the birth of Max. She says that she struggled with mental health problems and did not know what to do.

“I honestly can’t put a value on the service,” she says, “I was prepared for possible post-natal depression, and I think most people are aware of that, but I didn’t know about the perinatal service. I really struggled post-pregnancy. When I was referred, I had a specialist occupational therapist called Leanne Davies who would come to my house once a week. She was reliable, contactable and just invaluable to me. The service saved my life really.”

Rhiannon was recently discharged from the service, having been under their care for five months. Her mental health has improved and she is enjoying being a mum. Her mind now turns to the metric marathon and reveals her incredible spirit.

“Training is going quite well, although the recent heatwave didn’t help!” she laughs, “I’m a little bit nervous as it’s been a long time since my last big run, but I will battle on as best I can.”

Rhiannon hopes to complete the course in around 3 and a-half hours, and hopes that money raised can help the CWP perinatal service in their engagement efforts with mothers who access the service.

Tania Stanway, CWP consultant psychiatrist, is delighted by Rhiannon’s progress and humbled by her desire to raise money for the service.

She said, “I’m absolutely thrilled to see that Rhiannon is doing so well. It was a pleasure to be able to help her. Even as she worked on her own recovery she was already thinking about how she wanted to use her own experience to help others. It really is a testament to her strength as a person.”

“Our service endeavours to help mothers experiencing mental health problems in the period before and after childbirth. I’m proud to work for a service that can help people like Rhiannon and would urge anyone who is experiencing such issues, during or after pregnancy, to seek support. It is vitally important to know that you are not alone and that support is available.”  

To see Rhiannon's fundraising page, please click here: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/rhiannonbevan

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