Rethink Remembers - Charlotte
From the age of 13 my daughter Charlotte started self-harming. She was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) aged 18. I had never even heard of it but once I had read about BPD, it explained Charlotte’s behaviours. Apart from a spell in a Private Hospital and about 10 months with a Private Psychiatrist she had no help. The private care she received was a result of the benefits from my work, but because BPD is a lifetime mental illness they would only allow a certain amount of funding. At the end of the funding my battle for help on the NHS began. My Doctor only prescribed what the Psychiatrist had originally given and the only appointment Charlotte got with an NHS Psychiatrist ended with her telling us she didn’t believe in private care and we never received another appointment .We were told CBT or DBT would help her but the lists were so long we couldn’t get an appointment. I was at my wits end as Charlotte’s self-harming was becoming extreme. I asked my doctor if he could give her a mood stabiliser and he said he could and for those last few weeks of her life she was able to talk to me more and explain her internal battle. Sadly on the 22nd February 2009, she self-harmed and lost her life.
After her death, I felt so passionate about the fact that there wasn’t anything for young people in crisis, nowhere for them to go. I wanted to do something to help people, so I found Rethink Mental Illness. I started a JustGiving page and did it all in Charlotte’s memory, which was so simple to do. I started off saying to people collect your 5p’s, put them in a jar and I’ll collect them every few months. My cousin organised a fun day in the August after Charlotte died and we raised over £2,000. We had an auction, a bouncy castle, raffle and bar. It was a fabulous day and was a great start to our fundraising journey.
The next year, we did a walk which raised another £2,200. I bought everyone orange t-shirts because that was Charlotte’s favourite colour and it has evolved from there. Everyone gets involved and supports me. My partner Paul and our families are behind me all the way especially my son Bobby, I couldn’t do it all without him or my stepsons Joe and Derek. Whilst raising money we are also raising awareness. I have a fundraising page on Facebook where I share my JustGiving page and advertise any fundraising I am doing. This also keeps Charlotte’s memory alive, which is so important to me.
We’ve done so much since that first year and now the walks we do start and finish in a local pub, so we have a big raffle and a BBQ. The prizes I get are donated from local businesses. I go round and ask for their support with prizes. The key is to always write to them all after the event thanking them and telling them how much we have raised. Charlotte’s friend Ruby did a skydive and Joe did a sponsored head shave. Any opportunity now to raise money I take, we also do bag packs at the local supermarket, have had a charity stall at the local Market and car boots. The walks are something we like to do every year as they raise such a wonderful amount of money, one year was over £4500! You have to be tenacious and grab every opportunity.
I don’t want another young person to suffer like Charlotte did, no brother to lose a sister, no grandparent to lose a grandchild, no aunt to lose a niece, or any other parent to have to lose their child like I did. Charlotte was so much more than Borderline Personality Disorder. She was a fun bright young woman who loved children but who was sadly blighted by this awful mental illness.
This is why I support Rethink Mental Illness…..Help is just a phone call away.
If you wish to make a donation in Charlotte’s memory, please click here
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