Dare to Swear?

It’s time to give a **** about mental illness in young people!

Yes, dear readers – you read that right! Do you want to know who else is swearing to take on mental illness? Greg James- Radio 1 DJ & Presenter, Nicola Adams – 2 x Olympic Gold Medalist, Jon Simm – Actor, Arlene Phillips – Choreographer, Mel C – Singer and of course me, Lorraine Perry and my best friend Norma.

Norma and I are taking on a massive challenge in October this year – a 5-day trek in Columbia to The Lost City (Ciudad Perdida); a gruelling 70km hike through jungle terrain, rivers and waterfalls and sleeping under the stars with all the scary wildlife! But why are we doing this? We are on a mission to raise as much awareness and money to support MQ Transforming Mental Health. This incredible charity is investing £2.5m into research to tackle the most critical mental health issues for young people today: depression and suicide. The answers found from this new research could transform the way we understand, treat and prevent mental illness for all young people.

Norma and I have always talked about doing something that pushes us physically and takes us out of our comfort zone; nowadays, we probably all know someone who has been affected by mental illness – whether it’s ourselves, a loved one, a friend or a colleague.

Mental Health Banner

No parent ever expects to lose a child, and nobody understands the impact of mental health issues in young people better than Norma, whose daughter Michaela tragically took her own life on 24th July 2016. Michaela was the youngest of two children; a gorgeous, intelligent, determined young lady who struggled with life. Unless you have experienced mental health first-hand, no one will understand what it is like to suffer from this debilitating illness, nor the struggles and heartache that her family faces on a daily basis.

The driving force for us to complete this trek is in honour of Michaela and to raise as much money as possible for MQ Transforming Mental Health, so that young people who are struggling can get the help and support they need quickly. We want to raise awareness and help remove the stigma associated with mental health as well as supporting a fantastic charity that needs the funds to find a solution to this ever-growing problem.

We originally hoped to raise £2k, but through the overwhelming support from our friends, family and the people we both work with, we have already smashed that. We are now hoping to raise as much as possible in excess of £5k. We are covering the cost of the trek ourselves, so every single penny we raise goes into this vital mental health research.

So how are we feeling about our forthcoming trek?

Personally, I am more apprehensive than I was doing my Great Wall trek last year as I am recovering from a trapped nerve in my shoulder and also have injured my knee which I’m receiving physio for – but I am making good progress and Norma and I are working together to improve our fitness and physical strength and stay fit and mentally healthy for our families.

Norma is feeling excited, nervous and apprehensive; as Travel Director of Not Just Travel, Colombia is one destination she has never visited, so she is very excited about that. She’s also nervous and doesn’t know what to expect – especially about sleeping out in hammocks complete with creepy crawlies and animal noises!

Norma Fenwick Travel

Right now, one in four people in the UK is living with a mental health condition – that is almost a staggering 15 million people with a mental illness affecting their wellbeing, relationships, and ability to work. For many, this is a painful, exhausting and isolating experience.

We both hope that our trek will raise MQ’s profile and of course, provide them with much-needed funds to continue their work until their ultimate goal is reached.

Will you join us and swear you support? If you would like to make a donation, please donate at

This article was wrriten for Lorraine Perry of CM Connections.
If you’d  like to write an article or press release about your charity event, Wendy Jennings Creative can help – please just get in touch today.

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