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Andy is raising awareness of suicide after daughter takes her own life

Sophie and Andy Airey

In December 2018, Morland resident Andy Airey and his family received the worst possible news; Andy’s daughter, Sophie, had taken her own life. Reported missing from her home in Leith, Sophie’s body was found three days later in South Queensferry.

Galvanised by this devastating situation, Andy is now raising awareness and funds for charity by running a tough half marathon – and supporters can follow his progress on the day.

Andy Airey

Andy says; “Sophie, our beautiful daughter, took her own life last December. She was entered to run the Northumberland Half Marathon on February 23rd; needless to say, she won’t be there, but I have arranged to take Sophie’s entry and will run in her place. We are determined to bring something positive out of our terrible loss, so we are raising funds for PAPYRUS, the national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide.

“Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK. PAPYRUS believes that many young suicides are preventable; the charity runs a helpline giving support and advice for people suffering from suicidal thoughts, or those who are concerned about friends and loved ones. Since setting up a JustGiving page we have already reached £20,000 and we’re trying to see just how far above it we can get! Every £5 donated pays for a call to HOPELINEUK; even the smallest donation may help save a life.”

You can follow Andy on his run on 23 February with a special tracker kindly provided by Open Tracking, go to http://live.opentracking.co.uk/papyrus19/

Andy says; “So many people are coming along in support, I thought this would help identify where we are and also give those who can’t be there a chance to see how we’re doing.”

For more information and to donate, search #RunforSophie or visit justgiving.com/fundraising/andrew-airey2

PAPYRUS details:

Website www.papyrus-uk.org

HOPELINEUK 0800 068 4141

In a separate development, Cumbria-based poet Phil Houghton has – entirely unprompted – written a poem in support of Andy’s efforts, reproduced below.

Brave legs

Run,

not like the wind,

but the gentle breeze

that whispers

through curtains

on a Summer’s night

run,

not like the clappers,

but like a distant bell

that rings

unexpectedly,

carries a memory

across the Dale

run,

like a Hare

full of the vigour

of all those earlier Springs

run,

like the Beck

true

and with purpose,

obstacle shifting,

contour defying

ever onward,

shaping the future

in the bedrock’s

past

run

alone,

but run

always

together

For Andy – Run for Sophie

Phil M Houghton

Copyright 25th January 2019

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