‘People want to talk’ - teenager fundraising in memory of best friend

Katy Walkey (right), from Shouldham, raised £4480 for mental health charity Mind in memory of her be

Katy Walkey (right), from Shouldham, raised £4480 for mental health charity Mind in memory of her best friend Emily Owen (left). Picture: Katy Walkey

The best friend of a Norfolk teenager who took her life has raised thousands of pounds in her memory in the hopes of helping others in need.

Emily Owen, from Shouldham, died in March 2020. Picture: Annabel Owen

Emily Owen, from Shouldham, died in March 2020. Picture: Annabel Owen - Credit: Annabel Owen

Katy Walkey, from Shouldham, started her fundraising efforts for Norfolk and Waveney Mind in July in memory of Emily Owen, 19, who died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn in March this year.

Miss Owen’s family previously said she was concerned about coronavirus and the “mental health impacts of isolation”.

Her death led Miss Walkey, who had known Miss Owen since pre-school, to decide to fundraise in her best friend’s memory in the hopes of helping others going through similar struggles.

The 22-year-old has raised £4,480 through a tombola and raffle and has also received donations for the cause.

Katy Walkey (right) donated £4480 to mental health charity Mind in memory of her best friend Emily O

Katy Walkey (right) donated £4480 to mental health charity Mind in memory of her best friend Emily Owen. Picture: Katy Walkey


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She said: “I just wanted to be able to help other people who are going through the same thing and I didn’t want anybody to go through what me and Em’s family have had to go through, and all of our friends.

“I’m hoping the money that has been given to Mind will help anybody else who needs it.”

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Miss Walkey urged people who are struggling to reach out and get support.

“If anybody needs to talk, Mind are there, people want to talk to you,” she said.

“Don’t do anything until you’ve spoken to people who love and care about you.”

She thanked her mum Julie Walkey and all those who have supported the cause, adding that she hopes to continue fundraising in the future.

She said: “Our community have all come together for Em.

“It means so much that we have had so many people contribute and share their comments on Facebook about Emily’s story and the raffle, people from all over have seen it.”

For help and support visit www.norfolkandwaveneymind.org.uk. Alternatively call the Samaritans 24/7 free helpline on 116123 or visit www.samaritans.org

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