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This year, Mander Hadley have chosen SOS Silence of Suicide as our nominated ‘Charity of the Year’ for 2023. We chose SOS Silence of Suicide because, as a firm, we wanted to support a smaller charity, local to Coventry and Kenilworth where our offices are based, where we knew that any funds raised would genuinely go a long way to support the charity.
SOS Silence of Suicide is based in Kenilworth and was founded by Michael Mansfield KC and his wife, Yvette Greenway-Mansfield, after their own personal losses to suicide.
The charity aims to provide a helpline for those who need someone to talk to about mental health worries. Their slogan “Stop the silence, start the conversation” is poignant to their cause, and the charity is playing their part in tackling the elephant in the room and removing the stigma around mental health troubles. Their aim is to help to reduce suicide rates across the UK together with other mental health charities. Although they are a small charity, they have ambitious plans to help provide more support for the better, and we wanted to assist with this by raising money for them to help them reach their goals.
Mental health awareness and suicide prevention and intervention are so prevalent today, as more people are speaking up and seeking help which is great. Being able to get the support you need, when you need it, should be something every person has access to. No-one should suffer in silence or feel like there isn’t help for them, because there is.
As a firm we have also seen the effect that suicide can have on a person and the family and friends they leave behind, and we wanted to be able to raise awareness as to the effect it can have, and how people can get help if they need it.
We decided that we should aim to do more throughout the year to raise money for charity, but we wanted to do it in such a way that was accessible to all members of the team and fun too.
In May 2023 we hosted a “Bank Holiday Bake-Off” across both firms, it was a day filled with cake and competition and lots of tasty treats baked by our staff. As well as the sugar rush, we raised around £70 throughout the day for the charity, and we also saw team members Lauren Richardson-Kellam, and Jackie Prior (now retired) being crowned “Star Bakers” of the firm on the day with a chocolate-filled prize to take home.
We then decided that we wanted to try something a bit more ambitious, which is where myself and three colleagues (Lynsey Markham, Beth Maclean and Lee Basson) came together and decided to enter an Inflatable 5km running event, held at Stratford Racecourse on Saturday 14th October 2023 organised by UK Running Events.
We decided in the summer that we wanted to do this event because it would be a challenge that we could all train for it in a short amount of time but would also be a lot of fun (and it was!). As a fundraising target, we set ourselves an initial target of £500 which we thought would be challenging but feasible. We are absolutely thrilled to say that we reached our target with more than a week to spare and have in fact raised £870 for the charity through donations and sponsorships for the run which really is amazing, and we’re overwhelmed by our friends, families, and colleagues’ generosity and support!
The event itself was great fun, and it was a challenge. Along the 5km route we tackled 32 giant inflatable obstacles such as the Beast, the Vortex, the Web and the Temple of Doom! I don’t think any of us anticipated just how hard it would be to get up and over all these inflatables, but it really was tough! We completed it though and we all felt amazing for doing so and thoroughly enjoyed it.
On the day we had a great support network come to cheer us on including friends, family, colleagues, and members of the team at SOS Silence of Suicide!
My teammates and I had the following to say about the event:
Kathryn – “Loads of fun with the right amount of challenge! We bounced our way to the finish line!”
Lynsey – “It was a really fun event, and we’d like to thank everyone who managed to donate and support us!”
Lee – “An enjoyable and well organised event would do it again. Maybe do the 10k next year! Straight into the ice bath when I got home!”
Beth – “I felt the event was very well organised, easy to access. I had a great time enjoying all of the obstacle courses which were so fun! All in all a great day and event”
In total we have raised over £900 for SOS Silence of Suicide which is fantastic, and we hope that it will go a long way to help the charity in their upcoming projects.