A young woman from Bradley Stoke who suffered from anorexia as a teenager and spent nearly six months in hospital because of the condition has raised nearly £2,000 for Beat, one of the UK’s leading eating disorders charities.
In January 2017, Sophie Mitchell, now 21, set herself the target of raising £500 for Beat through a series of local fundraising events that were planned to take place throughout the year. Come the end of the year, Sophie says she is delighted to report that she has raised nearly four times this amount!
One of the highlights of Sophie’s fundraising year was completing the Bradley Stoke 10k Run in June, in a time of 55 minutes.
This, combined with a cake sale held at the Bradley Stoke Community Festival the day before, raised a total of £146.
Earlier in the year, she had completed a 2km sponsored swim with her friend Reka Goralszki.
The sporting theme continued in August when, with the support of staff at the Bradley Stoke Active Gym, she hosted a charity ‘super fit’ class, raising £181 in just 90 minutes.
In October, Bradley Stoke Community School (previously attended by Sophie) staged a non-uniform day, adding £380.
Other events held in 2017 include quiz nights at Baileys Court Inn and Almondsbury Sports & Social Club, a coffee morning at the Beaufort Arms in Stoke Gifford and a pyjama day at SGS College Filton (where Sophie was studying).
Aside from her fundraising efforts, the year also saw Sophie getting involved in a number of promotional activities in support of Beat and receiving two awards at her college’s prize day.
Spurred by last year’s success, Sophie says she plans to continue her fundraising efforts in 2018. A bag packing day at Tesco and a sponsored skydive are already on the cards for April!
Sophie’s reflections on a whirlwind year
When I made the decision to share my story and fundraise for Beat, never did I expect the reaction and support to be this good! So many unbelievable, amazing opportunities/achievements have come my way. Just to name a few:
- Becoming a “This Girl Can” ambassador
- Acting as a media volunteer and fundraiser for Beat
- Attending a charity function at the Houses of Parliament
- Appearing in a “Do What You Can’t” video for SGS College
- Being named Student of the Year and receiving the Governor’s Award at my college’s Prize Day
I was also lucky enough to be able to further my career aspirations through undertaking a six-week internship in Seville (Spain) and have now started an apprenticeship at Henbury Leisure Centre where I am working towards gaining a number of teaching and coaching qualifications.
I’ve said this before and I will say it again – NONE of what I achieved in 2017 would have been possible if it wasn’t for Joanna Nowak, who is not only my personal trainer but an amazing friend. She has transformed my life completely and, with her by my side, I am determined to keep doing what I’m doing and getting stronger. In May, I had the honour of attending the Stars of the Stokes Awards with her, where she had been nominated for Coach of the Year and I couldn’t be prouder of her.
I’ve met so many amazing, inspirational people who have approached me and shared their experiences with eating disorders. For me, that beats any of the above, hands down. Because of this, I have not only increased my fundraising target to £3,000, but also decided to extend my fundraising into 2018, which is going to be “bigger and better”!
Thank you to everyone for your support and contributions in 2017. Here’s to more success in 2018!
Follow me on Facebook for event updates and recovery motivation.
To share my story, donate and help me reach £3,000, please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sophie-Mitchell11
Photos: 1 Sophie Mitchell with awards received at SGS College’s prize day. 2 Photo collage of Sophie Mitchell’s year of fundraising (view a larger version on Facebook).
This article originally appeared in the January 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on pages 12 & 13). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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