A large percentage of students felt their mental health had declined during the pandemic, ONS statistics show.

A survey of 2000 students found that 57% of participants said they experienced worsening mental wellbeing between September and November 2020.

What these statistics show is that there is now a greater influx of students across the country needing support.

The pandemic has taken its toll on many individuals, but with students facing lockdowns away from family and support networks, their is an additional need to look out for their well being.

Student Minds is a charity which does just this by offering advice and encouragement to students on how to take care of their mental health effectively.

Darcie and her housemates, Patsy Quinn, Megan Hatherley, Georgia Dakin,Ella Morgan and Charlotte Winrow. Image source- Darcie Blackwell

Darcie Blackwell, 21 from Stevenage, and her housemates have pledged to run 400 miles over the course of February to fundraise for Student Minds.

Darcie created a Just Giving page for people to support their journey which is the equivalent of Blackpool to Surrey.

She said: “We thought at the moment with everything going on, it’s hard for students being told to go back then not on top of the workload.

“We’ve seen people struggle and it made sense to choose them.”

The University of Liverpool students are running the total distance between their hometowns.

Each week over the course of the month, the girls will run 20 miles each to reach their total goal.

The girls continued: “We set a target of £500 and we upped it again as we already hit £1000.

“We’ve had donations from some students who don’t even know us who think its a good cause which has been nice.

“The more awareness the better, it’s not just about the donations but the charity and what they offer.”

Kate Mitchell, the Fundraising Officer for Student Minds, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the fantastic fundraisers who have taken on impressive and unique challenges to support our work over the past year, undeterred by the impact of restrictions on typical fundraising activities.

“Their generous and enthusiastic support has enabled us to continue to expand and develop our work.

“This includes listening to the issues students are facing during this time of flux, and supporting them to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to look after their own mental health, support their peers and create change.

Image source- Darcie Blackwell

“Thank you to everyone who has chosen to support us and helped to make this possible.”You can make a contribution to their fundraiser here.