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‘Amazing’ Emily remembered through friend’s tireless fundraising

PUBLISHED: 08:32 12 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:09 12 August 2020

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

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

Annabel Owen

The memory of a beloved daughter and sister is being kept alive by her best friend’s ceaseless fundraising.

Katy Walkey (right), from Shouldham, is fundraising in memory of her friend Emily Owen. Picture: Katy WalkeyKaty Walkey (right), from Shouldham, is fundraising in memory of her friend Emily Owen. Picture: Katy Walkey

Emily Owen, from Shouldham, died days after trying to take her own life on March 18.

The 19-year-old was taken into critical care at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn, but was taken off life support days later for organ donation and died at the QEH on March 22.

Miss Owen’s family said she had been concerned about coronavirus and the “mental health impacts of isolation”, adding it was ultimately what killed her.

But in the weeks following her death donations flooded in from across the globe, with a fundraiser set up by The King’s Arms - where Miss Owen worked as a waitress - generating more than £5,600.

And now Katy Walkey, who also lives in the village, has made it her mission to help others going through similar hardship by raising money for Norfolk and Waveney Mind.

“When Emily died it was just such a horrible time,” said Miss Walkey, 22.

“I don’t want anyone else to go through what Emily went through, or to go through what her family and I experienced. That’s why it’s so important to support charities like Mind.

“I thought I had to do something to try and remember her.”

Miss Walkey has already raised £1,000 through a tombola and cake stall on the village green, while a raffle with a host of generous prizes is taking place on August 30.

Almost five months after Miss Owen’s death, Miss Walkey speaks about her friend in glowing terms.

“Emily was just a lovely person,” she added. “Living in the same village she would pop round all the time. Every time she came, she made everyone happy.

“She was so bubbly and an all-round amazing person.”

Norfolk and Waveney Mind works to reduce the stigma associated with mental health, support people in their recovery and champion better services for all.

To find out more about the charity, visit norfolkandwaveneymind.org.uk.

• If you need help and support, call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline on 0808 196 3494 or the Samaritans on 113 123. Both services are available 24 hours, 7 days a week. You can also download the Stay Alive app on Apple and Android.


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