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An emotional London Marathon to save young lives

27th April 2016

In father’s footsteps and in brother’s memory

19 April 2016– Two years ago Elspeth Hoskins (now 24) was cheering on her father’s Virgin Money London Marathon effort. This year, running her first marathon, she has her father’s 2hrs 45min result in sight, and best-selling author Dr Richard Hoskins (The Boy in the River), is supporting her.

Elspeth, like father, is running to raise vital funds for national charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide. She is doing it for her brother David who sadly took his own life at just 19 years of age in 2009. “David was a caring, funny and fiercely intelligent boy who shaped my childhood and made me what I am today, but wrestled with mental illness throughout much of his life.”

An Oxford graduate working with young people every day at Brixton-based youth marketing agency, Livity, Elspeth is very aware of the pressures that can so easily become overwhelming for young people today. “Running has always helped me through my work, so it feels fitting to do this.”

Not surprisingly, suicide is a subject very close to Elspeth’s heart. “Having experienced first-hand the devastating consequences of a suicide in my family I want to help raise awareness of the excellent work of PAPYRUS, which offers vital help through its HOPELineUK helpline services. Being so involved with young people, I realise the huge pressures they can face and I find comfort knowing about the confidential, non-judgemental support that PAPYRUS provides to those who are not coping with life.”

Elspeth’s training is on track; she is now regularly completing 18 mile runs. “Living and working in the Clapham/Brixton area I always find others out on the run, which is very encouraging and you never feel alone – it also drives you on.

“On Sunday 24th I have a great cheer group of friends and colleagues who, along with my mum, will be supporting me along the way.

“The Virgin Money London Marathon is a wonderful effort by Elspeth, helping our charity to raise awareness that suicide can be prevented,” said Ged Flynn, PAPYRUS chief executive. “Suicide is the main cause of death in young people under 35 and we are determined to make known the scale of this social issue. Nothing must diminish our resolve to prevent young suicide and enhance the emotional resilience of young people. We are delighted that Elspeth is supporting our work.”

You can support Elspeth at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ElspethHoskins

Editor’s notes

Every year in the UK between 600 and 800 young people between the ages of 15 and 24 take their own lives - a number equivalent to the population of a small secondary school. Under the age of 35, the number rises to just under 1,600. That equates to around three to four per day. Three quarters of them are young men.

PAPYRUS was founded in 1997 by a group of parents who had a lost a child through suicide: parents determined to do everything possible to save other families and young people from a similar fate.

The charity’s HOPELineUK helpline servicesprovide a unique service in the UK for young people themselves and those concerned about them - to speak confidentially to its team of trained professionals for practical advice and support call 0800 068 41 41 text 07786 209 697 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org

Editorial contact for more information Rosemary Vaux PAPYRUS press office direct line 020 8943 5343 mobile -7792 72 62 41

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Suicide is the biggest killer of young people - male and female - under 35 in the UK. Many thousands more attempt or contemplate suicide, harm themselves or suffer alone, afraid to speak openly about how they are feeling.

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