DURHAM University students, staff and graduates have walked, run, rowed, swam and cycled to Durham, North Carolina, and back to raise money for a mental health charity.

Students at the university’s Collingwood College set themselves the challenge of collectively covering the 3,754 miles between the two Durhams during the current month-long lockdown.

But over 300 students, staff and graduates joined in, meaning they covered the distance in just a week – and again in the second week.

They now plan to see just how far they can go before the national restrictions expire on Wednesday December 2, and hope to raise at least £3,754 for charity.

Half will go to the student mental health charity Student Minds and the other half to a charity chosen by the student team that raises the most money.

Will Stobbs, the Junior Common Room President at Collingwood College, said: “We wanted to use the lockdown period to bring the college together and support a really worthy charity.

“It has been amazing to see so many people get involved, and from all over the world.

“We’re aware that student mental health could be really tested during lockdown, so we’re proud to be supporting Student Minds.”

One of those taking part is Collingwood College’s Principal, Professor Joe Elliott, who contracted Covid-19 in October and has used the charity challenge to motivate himself to get active again.

He said: “When I got Covid-19 I was exhausted. Even walking a short distance was exhausting. I

“had to take it very easy for over a month. But I’m fine now and planning to do around 100km a week of indoor cycling.”

To make a donation visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/collingwood.