Norwich mother starts 50 day fitness challenge to raise funds for Bipolar UK

Jennifer Kane, a third year mental health nursing student at the UEA has begun a 5 x 50 challenge to

Jennifer Kane, a third year mental health nursing student at the UEA has begun a 5 x 50 challenge to raise money for Bipolar UK, after being diagnosed with the condition. Photo: Bill Smith

A mental health nursing student from Norwich has embarked on a 50 day exercise challenge to help raise funds and awareness of a bipolar disorder charity.

Mother-of-two Jen Kane, who is in the final year of a course at the University of East Anglia, was diagnosed with bipolar last month and has pledged to raise money for Bipolar UK.

The 30-year-old began a 5 x 50 challenge at the weekend to run, jog, or walk five kilometres every day for 50 days to support the charity after going through a bad period of depression.

Mrs Kane, who lives in Pelham Road, Norwich, said she was keen to raise more awareness of bipolar, which affects about 5pc of the population. She suffered a period of depression six years ago, but only received a diagnosis this year and has been prescribed medication to help manage the condition.

'People just mention Stephen Fry when they hear about bipolar and they think I must be manic all the time. For me, it is mainly periods of depression and hyper mania. I think it will make me a better nurse in the long run and will make me empathise with patients.'

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'I was looking to raise some money and awareness for Bipolar UK and I saw an advert on Facebook and thought it was perfect,' she said.

Mrs Kane, who has already raised £300 for the charity, said she hoped to improve her fitness levels by undertaking the 50 day challenge.

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'I am not very active, but I think it may get easier as I get used to it. In the current climate with mental health services in danger I thought it would be a good idea to feature something positive,' she said.

The 5 × 50 Challenge launched in 2012, with the aim of changing exercise habits for a lifetime, which attracted more than 5,000 participants from 43 countries. So far, the global movement has raised in excess of £160,000 for various charities.

The challenge started on Sunday and ends on May 18.

Bipolar UK is the national charity dedicated to supporting individuals with the much misunderstood condition of bipolar, their families and carers.

Bipolar – sometimes known as manic depression – is a severe mental health illness characterised by significant mood swings including manic highs and depressive lows. The majority of individuals with bipolar experience alternating episodes of mania and depression.

On average it takes 10.5 years to receive a correct diagnosis for bipolar in the UK, according to Bipolar UK.

To sponsor Mrs Kane, visit

Are you raising funds or awareness of mental health? Email

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