Sheffield woman's gruelling marathon challenge to say 'thank you' to the emergency mental health services that saved her

A Sheffield woman whose life was saved by mental health and emergency services during an ‘horrific 18 months’ is running the London Marathon to raise money to say thank you.

Monday, 30th August 2021, 8:01 pm

Nicole Biney, 45, from Hillsborough, was sectioned last year after an abusive relationship left her a ‘mental mess’ and caused her to attempt suicide.

And when she was released from her inpatient treatment, the world was in lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. She was told that she was not well enough to look after her children.

Nicole said: “I came out to a world I didn’t leave behind. It was so hard to adjust, and I, like many many others, couldn’t handle this pandemic. The rest of time since then has been turbulent.

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Nicole is training for the London marathon

"I’ve been a missing person a couple of times due to my inability to cope alone without my family. Like many others, not working throughout the pandemic has meant the usual avenues of being able to distract oneself from issues have all been closed. Off the scale stress also hasn’t helped.”

Nicole said that running has given her a lifeline during lockdown and since restrictions lifted. And now she wants to use that to help the people who helped her when she was at her lowest.

She will be running the London Marathon this year, and after that will take part in a leg of the SAS selection course in the Brecon Beacons in June next year. The latter involves running with a 16kg pack up Pen Y Fan and Jacob’s Ladder and back again.

Nicole explained: “Running and kickboxing has kept me going. I missed races, but now they’re back, and I’ve decided to use them to raise money for those that have supported and helped me throughout the past 18 months.

“I’ve needed the services many times, not always willingly, but they’ve never treated me with anything other than respect and care in doing their jobs.

“I want to give something back, something that helps me, but will also help those that have helped me, and that help hundreds of people every single day.

“I thought if I set myself a focus and a purposeful goal it may also help keep me in the land of the living."

She added: “I think we make the assumption that [mental health workers] see bad things all the time, so they will be ok and can handle it, but I know that this isn’t always the case.

“Those that help us, may, or do, need help themselves.

“Seeing the horrific things they deal with regularly can have an impact on their own mental health - so I have chosen to run London Marathon 2021 for ‘The Thin Blue Line’ charity."

The Thin Blue Line is a charity that supports emergency service workers with their own mental health.

“It takes a special person to be a police officer, and keeping the ones that have chosen that career fit and well mentally so that we don’t lose good officers means a lot to me,” Nicole said.

Nicole hopes to raise £3000. You can support her here.