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Fundraiser organised by Perthshire woman after friend’s suicide raises £2k for mental health charity

William Wells and Becky Gunn.
William Wells and Becky Gunn.

A fundraiser organised by a Perthshire woman after her friend’s suicide has raised £2,000 for mental health charity, Penumbra.

Becky Gunn of Inchture joined forces with holiday accommodation provider, Guardswell Farm in December to organise a raffle in aid of the charity.

Penumbra works to prevent suicide and provide crisis support.

“The online Carse of Gowrie Christmas Raffle has far exceeded our expectations”, Becky said.

“Grateful thanks go to Guardswell Farm for making this event possible by putting it on their website, and to Olly Bobbins, Inchture for helping to sell tickets.

“Also, our heartfelt appreciation extends to the kindness and generosity of all the local businesses and individuals who contributed to the 36 amazing prizes.”

Prizes included in the raffle included shopping vouchers, rounds of golf and Christmas hampers.

The fundraiser also aimed to raise further awareness of mental health discourse as well as providing assistance to those in need of support from mental health organisations.

Kenny Thom of Penumbra said: “The pandemic has been daunting for everyone, but there’s a real risk that people already living with mental ill health could find themselves at a crisis point.

“The added pressures of dealing with the isolation, financial worries, and other impacts of lockdown are potentially creating a perfect storm for people reaching crisis.

“At any given time, one in 20 of us is experiencing thoughts of suicide.

“It remains a subject that we find difficult to talk about, but as a leading cause of death among young people and with men in their middle years particularly vulnerable, it is vital that we open up.

“The one thing we can all do is talk openly about suicide and encourage conversations around mental wellbeing.”

He added: “Huge thanks to Becky, the team at Guardswell and the wider community along the Carse of Gowrie, from Perth to Dundee, for raising these vital funds and for helping to shine a light on suicide prevention.”

In December, Becky said the idea for the raffle came from a project she was working on with William Wells, a joiner from Forfar, who told her he had recently begun a Someone’s Hero Facebook group.

“He did it to raise awareness of male suicide and mental health in his local area, after a close friend committed suicide last year,” she said.

“Having also lost my best friend to suicide a couple of years ago, and after such a difficult year for so many, I felt it was important to put on this event.”

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