Sally Gunnell OBE to start Mental Elf 2023

October 2023

We are delighted to announce that Olympic champion, Sally Gunnell OBE, will start our Mental Elf 5k festive fun run on Sunday 26 November

We've launched entries for our second Mental Elf fun run and walk, our biggest fundraising event of the year.

And in extremely exciting news, this year's fun run will be started by Olympic champion Sally Gunnell OBE. As the only woman to hold World, Olympic, European and Commonwealth Gold medals simultaneously, Sally has an unrivalled place in the British athletics hall of fame – and is a champion for corporate and family health and well-being.

This year's event builds on the success of our first Mental Elf fun run last year, which saw over 180 people take part and raise over £9,300 for local people's mental health.

The festive-themed run and walk is open to people of all ages and abilities – runners, walkers, families, teams of colleagues and friends, as well as wheelchair and pushchair users – and is very much a community event, with dogs also welcome.

People are encouraged to dress up as elves, although dressing up isn’t compulsory. There are medals for every participant and there will be a fun warm-up, led by local gym, Intent91. This year's event will also feature live music from the Spring into Soul Gospel Community Choir and Drumheads Samba Band, refreshments on site and a Santa sleigh for families, hosted by Lancing and Sompting Lions.

Every ticket sale and donation will generate vital funds to enable us to support local adults and young people with their mental health. We have seen a significant increase in demand for our services following the Covid pandemic and this has continued with many local people experiencing stress and worry about the cost of living.

Our CEO Kerrin Page said: “We are extremely excited to be hosting our second Mental Elf, which is our biggest fundraising event of the year. We're delighted to have Sally Gunnell supporting our run and highlighting how people can boost their mental health through physical exercise in our inclusive 5k. This continues to be a challenging time for people's mental health locally and Mental Elf is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness about our support, come together with the communities we serve and raise valuable funds for adults and young people who need our help.”

Mike Jones, managing director of Aspire Residential, the event sponsor, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring Mental Elf for the second year running. Last year’s run was filled with positivity, great humour and a real sense of togetherness. No matter your ability, Mental Elf is something that everyone and anyone can get involved in and have a huge sense of accomplishment when they complete it. We look forward to seeing you all on the day.”

People can sign up to Mental Elf here: Participants can also use the Enthuse sign-up platform to raise funds among family and friends for the event and are encouraged to do so.

We can't wait to see you there!