Case Study: Mark’s Mental Health Marathon

marks mental health marathon

Build critical mass for Mark’s Mental Health Marathon

Gill and Chris at Aardvark Marketing bring a different perspective. They have the ability to bounce ideas with you about how to get the message out. Their technological back-up and support mean the message delivered becomes really understandable, cohesive, consistent and informative across all formats. Aardvark have provided excellent support to me in achieving fundraising of over £26500 for Mental Health UK. They are skilled in practical idea-generation, marketing methodologies and remain focused on the end-goal. As a consequence, they have been instrumental in ensuring an initial aim of £4,000 was blown away with an outcome of 660% of that target! Personable, professional and proactive.
Mark Smith, Commercial Relationship Manager, Lloyds Bank


  • Supported Mark Smith, a local Commercial Bank Manager to raise £26,540 for Mental Health UK (against an original target of £4,000)
  • Extensive PR coverage in local business community and on local radio
  • Social media coverage generated over 240,000 views over extended period - 93,000 LinkedIn - 112,000 Twitter - 34,000 Facebook
  • Ensured Mental Health Seminars and Fundraising events were well attended and supported.


Aardvark Marketing were asked by Mark Smith, Commercial Bank Manager at Lloyds Bank, to help publicise his fundraising campaign for Mental Health UK. Mark was selected by Lloyds Bank to be one of a chosen team of 60 trekking 85km in Cambodia over 5 days in October 2019.


Mark wanted to extend the aims of the project from straightforward fundraising for a good cause, to raising the profile of Mental Health with the local business community around the issue of mental health at work. Mark set 3 targets for the project:

  • Help the business community to support people experiencing poor mental health
  • Everyone in the community to get something out of this for themselves, for their team and for their business
  • Raise £4,000 for the Mental Health UK charity enabling them to support many others going through difficult times with mental health issues. The target was raised to £10,000 and then to £25,000 during the campaign.

Publicity was the main challenge as Mark used Linked In but did not have a presence on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. To be successful both the fundraising and seminar events needed to be well attended, so good quality, regular publicity was required. This depended on keeping fresh and interesting content on people’s radar over an extended period.

The Solution

Aardvark Marketing devised a project brand name, Marks Mental Health Marathon. We set up a website to act as a ‘digital hub’ for videos, blogs and fundraising news.

We used a ‘drip feed’ approach to events and announcements of major donations through the year, so that there were a series of new stories to share about new sponsors or events coming up. This achieved the aim of keeping the community actively engaged for a longer period. Smaller businesses were encouraged to make voluntary donations to attend the events to support the campaign.

Press releases were sent out monthly to the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber and the Worcestershire LEP.

Social media posts were shared via software tools to regularly schedule posts using Mark Smith’s Linked In and Twitter account augmented by the Aardvark Marketing accounts on Linked In, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

The business leaders of corporate sponsors were interviewed individually with the approved write-up posted on the main website and shared on social media channels over several months.

This kept the web and social media content fresh and enabled us to engage more people with Marks’ Mental Health Marathon.

Seminar event sponsors waived the usual fees for their facilities and speakers gave their time, so that 100% of the money raised went to support the charity Mental Health UK.

Fundraising events included quiz nights and art exhibitions by local artist Jeremy Houghton.

Whilst Mark was away during the Cambodia trek, news of his progress was fed back to the local community via the website and social media updates, with the team photo as they set out from Heathrow airport became the most popular image of the whole campaign.

The final events of the year were a Business Community Candlelit Carol service on 10th December and an interview for Mark with Kate Justice of BBC Herefordshire and Worcestershire, broadcast on the evening of 15th January. Donations from the Carol Service hosted at All Saints in Worcester were shared between Mental Health UK and the Worcester Foodbank.

What’s really satisfying is the issue of ensuring employees mental health in the business community has been raised to a higher level and to a degree where it is now acceptable to talk about it in the workplace.
Mark Smith, Commercial Relationship Manager, Lloyds Bank