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Fundraising for The Beer-Harris Memorial Trust

Arden Receptionist, Ela Ozcan from Warwick Conferences has raised more than £400 for The Beer-Harris Memorial Trust by taking part in the 2.6 challenge; a charity which strives to promote positive mental health in adults - an important cause that is all the more relevant during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ela said:

"One of the reasons I chose to fundraise for the Beer Harris Memorial Trust was because it is a memorial trust for my friend, Joseph Harris, who passed away in 2017. I met Joe when I was at sixth form in Stratford, we became friends through a game called League of Legends.

"I started working at Warwick around the same time Joe started studying here, and knowing that most of my friends had moved away for uni, he made a real effort to make sure I was okay and even include me in social activities with his new friends. He was exceptionally caring and supportive of those around him".

Ela's chosen activity was juggling for two hours and thirty-six minutes on Facebook Live, asking for donations to help achieve the overall goal of raising the Trust's target of £10,000 - a massive effort given from the local community as a whole.

"Juggling has been incredibly beneficial to my mental health during isolation, it has kept me occupied as well and active at home, so when I heard about the 2.6 challenge, I knew that juggling would be a great way to participate.

"It has challenged me and tested my resilience, whilst helping me practice mindfulness by drawing my focus to the present moment. While it is unlikely that my skills will ever be that of a circus performer, my goal is to one day be able to juggle with 5 balls, and to continue sharing my experience with anyone who might benefit from it."

The pandemic has already had a devastating effect on charities, with the cancellation of thousands of events and the loss of billions in fundraising income. The trust makes grants either to community based projects or to research projects that are for the benefit of people experiencing mental health issues. There is an emphasis (but not exclusive) on patients suffering from severe mental illness.

Joe was a former student of the University of Warwick who unfortunately passed away whilst doing humanitarian work in South Africa during his gap year; involving renovating homes for orphans, rebuilding a volleyball pitch and transporting urgent water supplies to local villages.

Joe's mum, Miranda said:

"He was lacrosse mixed team captain in second year. At school he was a great sportsman playing rugby but the sport he excelled in was Triathlon representing Great Britain when he was 17.

"He was very modest though and most people at Warwick had no idea of what he’d done at school (music, sport and academic) but most of all he was a very kind and gentle person, always wanting to help people and a very good listener. He was my best friend and we were very close."

You can view more community 2.6 challenges taking place for Bear-Harris Memorial Trust here and they are still accepting donations.