Lancaster friends who tackled mental health taboos with fundraising race raise £7,500

A group of young men who took part in a 24 hour relay run to raise awareness of young people’s mental health issues have raised £7,500.

Monday, 22nd June 2020, 3:45 pm

Michael Padfield, 21, and 14 of his former schoolfriends from Lancaster Royal Grammar School ran a total of 269.4km in hour long slots from their homes across Lancaster, Morecambe, York, Newcastle, Glasgow, Bristol and Leeds - holding a ‘virtual baton’.

The men also spoke candidly about their own issues, such as anxiety, depression, social media, and grief, in a series of social media videos ahead of Saturday’s relay.

Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK, and the funds will go to Lancashire founded charity Papyrus.

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The friends took it in turn to run a virtual relay

Between 2016 and 2018, 371 people in Lancashire took their own life and 278 were men.

And between 2013 and 2017, 105 boys and men, who were just 10 to 34, took their own lives in the county.

Residents of Lancaster, Chorley and Preston accounted for more than a third of the deaths from suicide and injury of undetermined intent in the county.

The county saw 775 hospital admissions of young people aged 10 to 19 in 2018 to 2019 as a result of self harm.

*The Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123.