Fundraiser who runs to overcome mental illness to take on London Marathon

PUBLISHED: 08:27 08 March 2018

Langford mental health fundraiser Georgia Evans in training for the London Marathon. Picture: Courtesy of Georgia Evans

Langford mental health fundraiser Georgia Evans in training for the London Marathon. Picture: Courtesy of Georgia Evans

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A fundraiser who uses running to help manage mental illness is set to take on the London Marathon in memory of a friend’s daughter who had the same condition.

Charlotte Sheppard, who tragically died in 2009 at the age of 19. Picture: Sue SheppardCharlotte Sheppard, who tragically died in 2009 at the age of 19. Picture: Sue Sheppard

Georgia Evans, from Langford, is to run the 26.2-mile challenge in aid of Rethink Mental Illness, a charity that has helped her through conditions including borderline personality disorder.

She is running in memory of her friend Sue Sheppard’s daughter Charlotte, from Biggleswade, who had the same mental illness and tragically lost her life in 2009 – aged just 19.

“I am managing my illness, but it is a daily struggle and I have found that running helps,” said Georgia. “Rethink is a place where you can go to for support and information – every donation counts.

“Please support me – it’s going to be tough, but I am a tough cookie and have survived worse!”

Supported by Sue, Georgia has already raised more than £2,200 for the cause with calendars, a cake raffle and more – with more funds set to come in from two events in Biggleswade this month.

First, on Friday, March 23, Stuart Darlow – one of Sue’s old schoolfriends from Biggleswade’s former Holmemead Middle School – is set to hold a soul night in aid of Georgia’s fundraising.

Stuart, the lynchpin behind the South of France Soul Weekender, will appear as a guest DJ on the night alongside Geoff Ware and Kev Weaver.

Then, the next evening, former pupils from Holmemead Middle School are set to hold a reunion at Biggleswade Liberal Club in the High Street. There will be a raffle on the night, with all proceeds going to Georgia’s fundraising.

The reunion comes a year after a successful Holmemead 50-year reunion last year.

Sue has supported Rethink Mental Illness with a fundraising walk each year since 2010, and is determined to give others the support she feels Charlotte didn’t have.

She told the Comet: “I am totally inspired by Georgia. It is very important to me to keep Charlotte’s memory alive, and I am extremely grateful to each and everyone who supports me in my fundraising quest.

“If we can collectively help one person and one family avoid the anguish and battle that we had, it is worth it.”

The soul night at Biggleswade United’s ground off Fairfield Road starts at 8pm on March 23, with tickets £5 on the door. The London Marathon is on April 22.

To find out more or support Georgia’s fundraising, see justgiving.com/sue-sheppard4.

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