FAMILY and friends of an Y Felinheli teenager who jumped to her death last year are planning a walk up Snowdon in aid of a children’s mental health charity battling funding cuts.
Pauline Swatridge, who fought schizophrenia for several years, died after she jumped from the Menai Suspension Bridge on May 20 last year, aged 15.
Two of Pauline’s friends, Joanna Pritchard and Lauren Oates, both 16, have organised a fundraising challenge to climb Wales’ highest mountain and raise money for children’s mental health charity Young Minds, under threat after a series of funding cuts.
Géraldine Swatridge, Pauline’s mother, said: “What’s special about this charity is that it’s the only one which deals with mental illness within children and young people.
“The helpline they have will be closed if they don’t receive any more money.
“I have used this helpline when Pauline was ill and they were really great. If this disappears, it will be a great shame.
“It’s a taboo in society, people don’t like to talk about mental illness, especially in children, but it’s not rare. That’s a reality and I think Young Minds is addressing that reality.”
Joanna and Lauren have already raised almost £200 just days after beginning their sponsorship drive, and they will be joined by 20 other friends and members of Pauline’s family.
Joanna said: "So many people appreciated Pauline a lot and it was such a struggle for some people to cope when she passed away.
"It's a great thing to have so many people to come and join us. There are friends and family doing the walk, and people who just wanted to support us.”
The walk takes place on Saturday, August 30. To support their challenge, visit www.justgiving.com/joannapritchard14.