I stayed at the Maytree last year and, although I can never fully repay them for the role they played in my recovery from depression and suicidal thoughts, I'd like to raise funds for them so that they can help more people like me find their way through the darkness.
You can see me talking about my experience at the Maytree in this blogpost: http://letcreativitybegin.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/i-am-trying-to-break-your-hearts.html
£1000 is how much it costs for the Maytree to open their doors to someone who is in deep crisis as they did for me back in March 2012. Maytree are a unique charity within the UK and my hope is that, with your kind support and generosity, I'll raise enough money to help them light the way to safety for another 100 people like me.
Keeping silent about how much mental anguish I was suffering isolated me in my pain and ultimately contributed to my mind becoming an even darker place. During Lent 2013 I embarked on a sponsored 40 day Twitter silence. Now I have dropped all but about 85 of my 2500+ Twitter followers and installed a virtual paywall ... if folks want to follow me then they have to donate to the Maytree.
My vision is a society that no longer needs places of sanctuary like The Maytree, but until then I want to do whatever I can to enable them to be there for people in their darkest hours. I will keep fundraising for The Maytree for as long as it takes for me to reach my target of £100,000 ... and after that I'll probably set a new target ;-)
I'm also undertaking a collaborative art and music project called 'Saving the Only Life I Can' which I also hope will raise money for The Maytree when I finish collecting together contributions.
You can read more about the Maytree and what your donations will cover on their website. If you can afford to make a regular monthly donation then that is even better and allows them to plan ahead.
More importantly if you know someone who is suffering from depression or has suicidal thoughts then please mention the Maytree Respite Centre to them - it provided me with the sanctuary and space that I desperately needed at the time. I'll (thankfully) never know if I'd ever have acted on my suicidal impulses so I'm not sure I can claim they saved my life but the care I received during my short stay with them certainly switched a long extinguished light back on inside me and gave me back my life.
If you can't afford to donate then you can support me by simply learning how to listen to the pains and joys of your family and friends without judgement. If you are currently supporting someone who might be suicidal then make sure you have your own support network in place and phone the Samaritans if you have any concerns that they might act on any suicidal impulses.
The Samaritans is a great source of advice and support - and you don't have to be suicidal for them to take your call. http://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us
Why not take a moment to add their contact details into your phone?:
Phone: 08457 90 90
And now the standard blurb from Just Giving:
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate - I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
So please dig deep and donate now.