When it comes to fundraising for a good cause, Cally Evans is not playing around. She is currently running a marathon a week to fundraise for Projekt 42, a wellness centre in Leith focusing on mental wellbeing and fitness. We chatted to Cally about what makes Projekt 42 so special and how her marathons are going.
Hi Cally, tell us a bit about yourself!
In a nutshell - I'm the smiley one known for my ever growing collection of retro spectacles and tattoos. I'm a collector of vintage cameras and enjoy outdoor adventures. I've a love for fitness and travel… and for pick 'n' mix!
What’s your connection to Projekt 42 and what inspired you to fundraise for them?
I've been a loyal gym member of P42 since I moved to Edinburgh three years ago and volunteered my free time during the initial lockdown providing fitness classes to their online fitness timetable. I've seen first hand how the work they provide makes such a difference to the local community and I want to do my part to ensure they continue to thrive.
Mental health awareness and the promotion of positive wellbeing is vital, and in the current climate we all find ourselves in, the need is even greater.
Running has always been my escapism and a strategy I instantly turn to when my world turns 'dark', and so I'd like to use that passion to help raise funds for P42 who help others during their dark times.
What does Project42 provide for the people of Edinburgh?
So much more than people realise!
A social enterprise which brings together and strengthens the importance of both mental and physical health and why these elements are so crucial in shaping and caring for who we are.
With their strong ethos of 'Happy Bodies Strong Minds', this amazing not for profit organisation has helped to eliminate the barriers to treatment by making services cost effective, reducing the stigma surrounding reaching out for help, combating social exclusion and focusing on providing support to some of the most vulnerable and marginalised individuals; the first space to provide classes for the LGBTQ+ community, free senior and youth fitness classes, and cancer support services to name just a few.
Through reliance on donations, grants and membership fees, this amazing place ensures any profit made from its fitness work is invested back into the local community through free memberships, free classes, and free or subsidised counselling or life coaching sessions to those who need it most. Covid has unfortunately swamped their fitness efforts greatly, resulting in the doors to the gym warehouse closing permanently, and making outdoor fitness unpredictable due to restrictions- so now more than ever, this charity needs financial support to allow its crucial mental health work to continue.
What’s going to keep you going during your weekly (!) marathons over the next couple of months?
3 things -
1. My Mum gets me through my marathons. She is running with me... Over 60 miles away in her hometown, connected to me via her headphones. We chat our way through our runs!
2. The generosity and encouragement received to date is a real motivational boost.
3. My sheer determination to make a difference - albeit small in the grand scheme of things!
And finally, for you, what keeps Edinburgh thriving?
Edinburgh is kept thriving with all of its quirky independent shops, its beautiful character and the positivity of its people - I love Edinburgh so I'm maybe bias, but I think it's a no brainer why so many people are attracted to visit our city!
Best place to eat in Edinburgh? Razzo Pizza on Great Junction St - hands down best pizza EVER!
Best place to drink in Edinburgh? The Marshmallow Lady on Rodney Street - her hot chocolate and marshmallow combo is heaven!
Best view of the city? Calton Hill every time!
Best hidden gem in the city? Sunset at Newhaven Quay down by the lighthouse. Bliss!
You can find out more about Projekt42 and donate to Cally’s fundraising here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CallyEvans