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Spin-a-thon fundraiser in memory of friend who took her own life

A LOCALwoman will cycle for seven hours in memory of a close family friend who took her own life due to bullying at school.

In May this year, 13 year-old Lily Mae Sharp was found dead in her home in Sandbach, Cheshire after taking her own life. Wanting to raise awareness about the support available to anyone in a similar position to Lily, Frome local Katherine Lund has organised a seven hour spin-a-thon called ‘Lily’s Spin for Change’.

“In honour of Lily, a beloved daughter, grand daughter, sister, niece and cousin, who took her own life owing to bullying, I have organised a spin-a-thon,” explained Katherine.

“Lily was just 13 years old and such a beautiful soul. Her kindness and happiness touched us all. She was happy and enthusiastic with a cheeky sense of humour and her memory deserves to be honoured with change, a change she has inspired.”

Organising the fundraiser has helped Katherine cope with her grief for Lily who was the niece of her mum’s best friend. “I’m one of life’s do-ers, I always have been. When put in an adverse situation, I find a methodical and positive way to make it manageable.

“The shock I initially feel whenever I hear a story such as lovely Lily’s is something that goes straight to my stomach. It is incredible to me that a human being could ever feel low enough to resort to not even wanting to try any more, especially at such a young age when life should be so carefree and innocent and simple.

“Fundraising and training hard to ensure I am fit enough for seven hours of spinning has all gone towards overriding any sadness I felt, with positivity and purpose.”

The spin-a-thon will be raising money for PAPYRUS, the national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. Katherine has set herself a target of £250, but with seven weeks to go until the big day, Katherine has nearly surpassed this. “Three days into fundraising I had reached 75% of my personal target of £250. I have this incredible feeling that we are going to make some serious money for the charity. It’s incredibly exciting.

“I am feeling very positive. I already have the backing, support, understanding and encouragement of so many that I just know it will be a success.

“Raising money is brilliant, but raising awareness is the most important thing. Even if one teenager reads this story and sees what we’re doing and thinks ‘Someone cares, someone understands, someone is fighting for me to stay here, for me to dig my heels in and stand my ground, to be counted, to be strong and to love myself’, then that makes my seven hours of solid spinning and my seven weeks of relentless planning and plugging away all worth every second.”

‘Lily’s Spin for Change’ will be held at Frome Leisure Centre on Saturday 26thAugust from 9.30am until 4.30pm. The leisure centre has donated the use of their spin bikes and will provide an instructor and a first aider for the seven hours. Katherine will be cycling for the entirety of the event and people are invited to spin alongside her by booking one hour slots or longer if feeling brave.

Members and non-members of the leisure are welcome to sign up and you can book your place by calling 01373 465446 or by using the Fusion Lifestyle app.

You can make a donation and sponsor Katherine by visiting www.justgiving .com/fundraising/spin-for-change

If you are under the age of 35 and are worried about how you are feeling, or if you are worried about a young person, you can talk to trained professionals who give non-judgemental support and practical advice by calling  HOPELineUK on 0800 068 41 41. For more information visit www.papyrus-  uk.org/

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