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Collingwood’s Maria taking steps to tackle suicide misery

THE EVENTS Co-ordinator at the HMS Collingwood training base in Fareham, Maria Montague, is putting her best foot forward to help a cause close to her heart.

On September 10 and 11 Maria, together with her partner Debbie, will be tackling the gruelling 100km Thames Path Challenge to raise funds for CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably.

From a helpline set up in 1997 to today, CALM has been there for anyone who is finding life difficult and who may be considering suicide. Its approach seeks particularly to help men who often struggle to ask for help when they most need it and, sadly, 75 percent of UK suicides are men.

After booking their places, Maria and Debbie then discovered that September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, so the effort is even more relevant.

With such a worthy cause in mind, Maria is keen not only to raise funds, but also awareness of this lifeline as she has personal experience of the devastation suicide causes when her much-loved brother took his own life at the age of 23.

She said: “Even though life moves on, things are never the same for those left behind. Losing a loved one to suicide is absolutely heart-breaking and can still affect you after many years.”

“If walking 100km and giving up a few hours of sleep can help spare another family experiencing what we have, then every step will be worth it.”

Maria and Debbie will be covering the 100km non-stop, walking for 26 hours without the overnight break offered to other competitors so please do support them by checking out their JustGiving page: Life is for living! fundraising for Campaign Against Living Miserably on JustGiving. So far they have surpassed their inital target of £250 but want to raise as much as they can…

PICTURED (REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION): Debbie and Maria in training for their gruelling 100 km Thames walk due to take place over a weekend next month. Courtesy of Maria Montague.