Glasgow architects, Keppie Design, take on the challenge of Aberfeldy Triathlon, fundraising for SAMH.

We’re always delighted here at Aberfeldy Multisport Festival to learn that people are taking on the challenge of the 1.9km swim, the 90km bike ride and the 21km run and raising money for charity at the same time. Keppie Design have 4 teams who are taking part in the triathlon, raising money for the worthy cause that is the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH). Some of the teams will be taking a discipline each but, for some, they are doing more than one discipline.

Both Keppie and SAMH have a long and prestigious history. In 1901, Charles Rennie Mackintosh became a partner in the firm of Honeyman and Keppie, as it was known at that time. A famous and influential architect, he was responsible for the design of the Glasgow School of Art, the Willow Tea Rooms in Sauciehall Street in Glasgow and the Hill House in Helensburgh. Today Keppie is a modern architect practice, proud of that heritage but very firmly looking towards its future.

SAMH is celebrating its centenary this year! Born out of the pioneering work of Dr Kate Fraser, CBE, who campaigned for improving the condition and treatment of people with mental health conditions, today SAMH champions the needs of young people and adults who experience mental health problems. They seek to develop community-based services across Scotland. Focusing on anti-stigma, anti-bullying, suicide prevention, and sport and physical activity, they campaign to further policy that prioritises equality, dignity, respect, hope, choice and personal achievement for every person in Scotland.

Jamie Laurence, an architect from Keppie, who will be taking on the swim and the bike, said: “Each year, Keppie select a charity partner, an organisation close to the heart of the staff. This year we are fundraising for SAMH. Having joined Keppie at the start of the pandemic and living through and feeling the impact of the pandemic on physical and mental health close to hand, I am proud to work for a company that supports such charities with fundraising through team-building events.”

Jamie also said: “My mental health is profoundly impacted by professional and personal relationships, my work, my wellbeing, and my quality of life, so it is important I prioritise understanding my health and looking after those around me. It’s about working together, perhaps with a healthy dose of competition, an opportunity to be daft together and to reflect on our personal struggles. Supporting a charity in this way, raising money for an organisation that supports our collective health is highly commendable, and in turn, building a cohesive team is almost the by-product.”

Rachael Martin, the Corporate Partnerships Fundraiser for SAMH said: “Our work is only possible thanks to fantastic supporters like Keppie Design. Through transformational and strategic corporate partnerships, teams across Scotland can help fund our vital work. SAMH’s current strategy, ‘We Won’t Wait’ has a significant focus on employability and workplace wellbeing with the aim of building new models to support employers and employees across the country. Through our work with Scottish businesses, we can create transformational and mutually beneficial corporate partnerships which, at their core, are improving the lives of those experiencing poor mental health in Scotland.”

The Keppie team have set themselves an ambitious target of raising a total of £20,000 over the next two years. They are well on their way to that target, having raised over £5,000 already! They have been taking part in all sorts of challenges including the MacTuff obstacle race, organising an art exhibition and auction at work and a virtual Crufts competition.

If fundraising for SAMH is a cause close to your heart, then they’d love you to contribute to their just giving fund: Every penny will spur them on to conquer the course! Wishing them the best of luck with the Triathlon and the fundraising.

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