Friday, 6 July 2012

Torch relay on Monday

As many of you know, I will be carrying the Olympic Torch on Monday.  You can watch me online on the BBC Torch Cam site here at at 16.49 (approx) BST.

I have been working with Mind this week to produce a press release for the local media, and I am too proud of it for it to languish in the inboxes of the local media, so am publishing it here too!

05 July 2012

Kidlington’s Olympic representative to auction torch for Mind

Kidlington’s Olympic torch runner, Verity Westgate, has announced she will sell her torch
in auction to raise money for Mind, the mental health charity. Verity has supported Mind
since the death of her close friend Emily, who tragically took her own life in 2006 after
battling depression for many years.

Like Emily, Verity has struggled with depression several times in her life, but has been
lucky enough to recover. She credits exercise with being one of the key elements in
ensuring that she remains well, making her role as Olympic torch bearer even more
significant. In auctioning the torch after her leg of the relay route, Verity hopes to raise
money for the charity she is extremely passionate about. Just as importantly, she hopes
it will increase awareness of mental health issues and encourage others to speak out
about their own experiences, so everyone can receive the help and support they need.

The torch, which will be sold through eBay next week, is expected to go for over £2,000
pounds, adding to the £5,000 Verity has already raised for Mind over the last three
years. In 2009 Verity took part in the Great North Swim, a year later she swam 3.8k in
Dorney Lake and last year swam an impressive 10k, all to generate vital funds for Mind
and raise awareness of the issues surrounding mental health.

Mind campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of
mental health. The money Verity raises will go towards helping 1 in 4 people, like Verity
and Emily who experience a mental health problem every year.

Verity said:

“The benefits I’ve gained from exercise in boosting my own mental health have been
incredible. I am delighted to have been nominated to run with the Olympic torch and look
forward to marking the event by auctioning the torch for Mind. To have the opportunity to
raise money and awareness for a cause so close to my heart is a pleasure”.

Head of fundraising at Mind, Caroline Corr, said:

“We are extremely grateful for the remarkable work and fundraising that Verity has
carried out for us over the last few years. It is great that she has taken this massive
opportunity to raise awareness of the issues that surround those who experience mental
health problems. Verity has made a huge contribution to Mind and we wish her the very
best of luck in her Olympic torch run”.

Verity will be running with the Olympic torch in Kidlington on Monday 9 July at 4.50pm.
Mind is urging local residents to come and cheer to show their support for Verity and for


  1. Have a great time and soak up all the support. I'll have a good go at watcvhing you online, but as most routes have been late so far I might be on the way home when you're running.

  2. Woop woop go Verity!

  3. Woohoo, Verity! Thanks for posting the BBC link so we can watch you :)

  4. Will try and catch up with the watching on iplayer as won't be near any media at that time. Although I am sure you will post some photos.

    I agree about exercise as well, it is something which has helped me amongst many other things to function day to day.

  5. Verity, I'm so glad that you're running for a mental health charity. I have also suffered from long term depression and know how oppressive it makes my life feel. You should be very proud of yourself. I'm in my 70's and so too old to be able to exercise away my blues but reading always helps me.

  6. Hope that the weather is just right for your leg of the Olympic Torch relay.

    Also that you'll raise lots of money for Mind by the sale of your torch.

    Enjoy every moment of it.

  7. Go Verity!!! Enjoy every minute.

  8. Have a great time, Verity! What you've been doing for Mind over the past few years is seriously amazing.

  9. Verity, I just watched you running your section of the torch relay.

    I must admit I had a tear or two in my eyes, felt so proud of you, and all you have achieved.

  10. Hope that you enjoyed it Verity, something that you will remember forever!


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