PAPYRUS is thrilled to announce the successful conclusion of its first Facebook fundraising challenge, 4k-a-day, which coincided with Children’s Mental Health Week 2023. The challenge was launched to raise awareness of the heart-breaking reality that up to four schoolchildren in the UK lose their lives to suicide every week.
From 6-12 February, PAPYRUS staff and supporters from across the country joined forces in the challenge by running, walking, cycling, swimming, skipping, or rowing 4,000 kilometres each day. The funds raised from the challenge will help PAPYRUS continue providing life-saving suicide prevention support to young people across all four nations of the UK through our suicide prevention helpline, HOPELINE247.
We are overjoyed to announce that the initial fundraising target of £4,000 was not only met but smashed, as the challenge raised an incredible £7,000 overall. The outpouring of support for PAPYRUS, suicide prevention, and spreading hope has been truly remarkable.
As well as the impressive fundraising efforts, the 4k-a-day challenge was also a testament to the power of community and support. Our dedicated 4k-a-day Facebook page was joined by 62 members who spent the week sending words of encouragement and motivation to one another, all united by the cause and purpose of spreading awareness. The outpouring of positivity and support from both staff and the public was truly inspiring and demonstrated the impact that a dedicated and passionate community can have on a cause.
Among those who took part in the week-long challenge was PAPYRUS staff member, Ashley Davis. Ashley completed his 28,000 kilometres on a rowing machine in his home, keeping his supporters updated with his progress with daily live content. But Ashley doesn’t plan on stopping there – instead, he said the challenge helped him realise the importance of regular exercise and plans to integrate more into his life going forward.
Ashley says: “The 4k-a-day was a great way for me to do more to help towards suicide prevention. Although it was a challenge rowing every day, thinking of those impacted by suicide helped me carry on. My hand blistered after halfway, but the end of this challenge was near. The support in the group helped massively and was lovely to see everyone’s pictures and messages picking each other up. It was a pleasure to help outside of my role and I’ll be doing more.”
PAPYRUS supporter Nikki Williams completed the 4k-a-day challenge in memory of her daughter Miranda who sadly lost her life to suicide when she was 19 years old. Across the week, Nikki raised an incredible £275 for PAPYRUS while running and trekking across beautiful locations – from fishing harbours to the very scenic Sustainability Centre in Petersfield. Sending words of praise to the 4k community at the end of the week, Nikki posted: “Here’s to all of our lost ones, and all the ones we save through talking and sharing our Papyrus posts. Much love to you all xx”.
Helen Beard entered the challenge with a goal of raising £150 over the seven days. One week later, Helen not only completed her 4k-a-day through a combination of running and walking – often accompanied by her four-legged companion – but she also exceeded her target by an extra £15!
Sporting her PAPYRUS wristband, Melissa Stanton rode her way through 4k-a-day completing the challenge by bike! Also making an appearance and supporting his mum was Melissa’s youngest son who completed a couple of 4ks himself across the week, all in all raising a grand sum of £175 for PAPYRUS!
With breath-taking locations on her doorstep, Louise Waldock left us envious with her daily wildlife walks and scenic sunshine views. By the end of the week, Louise multiplied her £50 fundraising target by five raising an unbelievable £250 which will help to support our suicide prevention helpline, HOPELINE247.
On her involvement, Louise says: “I took part in the 4k challenge as I feel very strongly in that we need to help our young generation. Mental health and suicide awareness needs talked about openly and freely to try and prevent a young person feel like they have no choice. I have friends who are in that situation and have gorgeous young children who do not feel they should be here. This past year we have experienced mental health illness as a family ourselves and it’s heart breaking to go through. Thank you, PAPYRUS, for all you do.”
It was amazing to see people from all over the country come together to support PAPYRUS and to raise awareness about suicide prevention. Whether through participating in the 4k-a-day challenge, or simply sending words of encouragement, the community showed that they are committed to making a difference and to creating a world where young people can feel safe, heard, and supported.
We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who participated in the 4k-a-day challenge and contributed to the success of this initiative. Your support has made a huge difference in the fight against youth suicide and has helped to spread the message of hope to those in need.
Already thinking about your next challenge? Don’t worry, as our next Facebook challenge is already in the planning process, with details to be revealed in due course! To stay informed of ways you can support PAPYRUS, we encourage everyone to keep an eye out on Facebook and our other social media channels. Together, we can make a difference and provide hope to those who need it the most.