My mum passed away in July 2015, and the months since that day have been the hardest time of my life so far. I was 20 when she died and I know only too well that losing a parent young is a shocking, bewildering experience. Grief Encounter do essential work helping children and young people understand loss and death, and I am passionate about doing my bit to help other young people understand what has happened and grieve well. I have set up a website, letstalkaboutloss.co.uk, which aims to help young people overcome barriers around death by talking through the taboo and seeking solace in knowing they are not alone.
When I saw the Grief Encounter Ultimate Challenge, my first reaction was to laugh and wish I could one day participate in something so challenging and life-changing. But for too long I have been merely surviving and not living my life to the full. So despite the fact that I can barely run up stairs without getting out of breath, in October 2017 I'm going to be trekking the equivalent of five marathons across the Namib desert, in scorching heat and sleeping under the stars. It is going to push me to my limit and - hopefully - completely change my life.
Every penny you donate will go towards this fantastic charity, who are quite simply changing lives for children and young people every day. Whether you have lost a parent young or not, it is easy to see how devastating a tragedy it is, and I hope that together we can raise thousands of pounds to help make the grieving process as safe and simple as possible.
Thank you so much for your generosity.