When most students have finished their online studies they’re relaxing and winding down, but not for West Nottinghamshire College’s performing arts student Lydia Allen.
The 17-year-old, from Clowne, is filling her February with fundraising and fitness to help a range of national charities close to her heart.
The first of Lydia’s challenges is to complete 100 miles of walking, which she is pacing herself with throughout the month around the woodlands and nature walks close to where she lives. Having started some training in January she’s set to finish the full 100 miles at the end of February, with monies raised going to Bone Cancer Research.
She said: “I don’t really plan my walks, I just walk and see where it takes me. Then if I like the route, I’ll walk it again in the future.
“A friend of my parents lost their life through cancer and someone I knew at school did too. I saw the effects on the families that this disease has is terrible. I felt that if there was a way I could help those who need help, then I’d do it.”
And Lydia’s caring nature doesn’t stop there. Alongside her walking challenge, she’s lined up a 28 miles run – equivalent to one mile per day throughout the month. Due to exercise restrictions during lockdown she’ll be doing some of the runs on a Wii Fit board, using the conversion of two Wii Fit miles being equal to one regular mile.
Lydia has chosen Pancreatic Cancer Research to support through running the 28 miles. She admits that running has been a bigger challenge. She said:  “I’m not a runner and so building my way up to jog even one mile was difficult. During my walks, I see other runners running the entire distance I walk and so that has kept me motivated to jog just as far as they do.”
The third fundraising initiative which Lydia is concentrating on is a little less physically demanding, as she will be partaking in live gaming streaming. Gaming is something she’s only recently discovered and she’s intending to game online for up to two hours per day, depending on her study and work commitments on games such as Minecraft, Phasmaphobia, The Sims and OSU!
Money raised from her gaming challenge will go to mental health charity Rethink.  As someone who has dealt with mental health issues for most of her life, Lydia wishes to “make a change to how mental health is viewed and treated both in and out of educational and working environments.”
When Lydia isn’t fundraising she’s busy studying on the BTEC Extended Diploma Level 3 in Dance and Music at the college, enjoying all aspects of singing, acting and dancing on the course. She said: “My tutors and classmates are lovely, talented people and I couldn’t wish for a better college or class.
“There are two paths which I am exploring, either to become a West End performer or a teacher. I believe that the performing arts is one of the best ways to teach people and teaching is an amazing and rewarding job so I’d love to be a part of that. I love being on the stage, and so if I can combine both these paths I would love to.”
For anyone wishing to donate to any of the three charities, they should visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lot5mith for Rethink mental health charity,
for Bone Cancer Research www.facebook.com/donate/406601707272030/1547589532295743/
and for the Pancreatic Cancer UK initiative it’s www.facebook.com/donate/234977294738344/1547783142276382/

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