Ginny Birney, decided to mark her 50th year by completing an iron distance triathlon. She knew she wanted to raise money for a local mental health charity and had benefited from counselling in the past. We were delighted that she chose NCS as the recipient of her fundraising efforts.

For Ginny's story in her own words, please see the article below.

"I decided in the summer of 2022 that I would enter an iron distance triathlon. I was 49 at the time and wanted to mark my 50th year by challenging myself and raising money for a charity.

I'm a member of a triathlon club in Nottingham (4Life Tri Club), a really supportive club which I have been a part of for many years. I have seen club mates complete this distance and been inspired by them and many others over the years. I have also volunteered many times on one of the feedstations at the Outlaw Triathlon event, you can't help but be inspired by the people who do this! All ages, shapes and sizes, amazing!
I knew it would be a huge commitment. I set myself the goal of training and preparing well for it - with a plan that started 10 months before the event. I created a plan that involved training before and after work and tried to make sure it didn't impact my family too much.
I exercise regularly, it is an important part of my life and routine. The good thing about triathlon is that most of it is done outside, in all weathers. Spending time outside and exercising improves both my physical and mental health and setting myself goals and working hard to achieve them gives me focus and purpose. When I have challenges in my life or things to work through, I find exercising and spending time outside helps me enormously. 
I knew I wanted to raise money for a mental health charity. I'm aware of many people close to me who have had challenges in their lives, particularly since the pandemic and I'm also acutely aware of the waiting lists for support and strain on NHS services. I also wanted it to be a local charity, benefiting those who live in Nottingham.
NCS was recommended to me by a counsellor I had seen. I contacted her to ask whether she could recommend a local charity. She told me about NCS and their ethos that mental health support should be provided at the time it is needed and that money should not be a barrier to support. I know from personal experience how valuable counselling can be and reading more about NCS it seemed the perfect charity to support.
My counselling sessions not only allowed me to discuss difficulties I was facing in my life but gave me the tools to handle situations in a better way. Ultimately, counselling helped me take better control of my life and I will be forever grateful for the help and support.
I would like to think that any money I raised by spending hours in a pool or lake, riding a bike or running the streets and countryside around Nottingham (!) will help others in the same way. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process, the training, the event on the day and the fact that so many of my lovely, family, friends and work colleagues donated to this amazing cause. The smile on my face I think says it all!"

Congratulations to Ginny on her achievement and a huge thank you on behalf of everyone at Nottingham Counselling Service!