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“I’ve found a whole new community.”

Thursday, 04 April 2024 Charlotte

When Charlotte’s mum took her own life, Charlotte started fundraising for Mind, but she never imagined how much it would help her own mental health too.


I was only 19 when my mum took her own life in October 2020. She was 59 and it seemingly came out of nowhere. She was so confident and independent; she was the last person you’d expect to die that way.

“Training for the marathon gave me a reason to get up in the morning when all I wanted to do was stay in bed crying.”

I signed up for the London Marathon soon after she died. I knew I wanted to raise money for Mind as they help people who are in Mum’s position, but I couldn’t have imagined how much fundraising would help me personally. Training for the marathon gave me a reason to get up in the morning, change my clothes and shower, when all I wanted to do was stay in my bed crying.

Looking after your body physically also helps with your mental health. Being accepted to run the marathon was the best thing that could have happened to me. Nothing was going to bring Mum back, but this was putting a positive spin on it.

As well as setting up a fundraising page for people to donate to, I put on a cake sale that raised £1,000 and approached local companies to get prizes for a raffle that raised another £400. My cousin made a reel of my marathon photos and videos after I’d run the marathon and that made even more people donate. I hadn’t realised it, but most people donate on the day or after you’ve completed your challenge. Some people even come back and donate a little bit extra. I raised £17,000 in total.

Getting creative

Eighteen months later, in June 2023, I did the Three Peaks Challenge and raised over £5,000. I didn’t want to keep just asking people for money, so I tried to get creative in my fundraising. We got a load of football scratch cards where you pick a team and scratch off the result. We sold them for £5 each and gave £250 to the winner and kept £250 for the charity, but the winner kindly donated some money from their winnings back too. We also did a Eurovision sweepstake charging £10 per country.

As you continue to fundraise you have to find little ways to make it interesting for people donating. For example by interacting or getting something back.

Fundraising for Mind has done so much for me. I’ve met so many people and made such good friends. I still meet up with my fellow marathon runners to go running together or out for dinner with the people I climbed the Three Peaks with.

“The great thing is that I get to speak to people who understand what I’ve been through.”

The great thing is that I get to speak to people who understand what I’ve been through as they’ve also lost someone through suicide. I’ve met people who have struggled with their own mental health, and they help me see the other side of things and understand what my Mum was going through.

Fundraising for Mind means that I’ve found a whole new community; it’s such a safe space and everyone is really nice. It’s so much more than just raising money.

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