Abi Neeld, 24, ran a half marathon, and her dad Mark Neeld, 50, ran 26.2 miles at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend on Sunday, January 7, for North Staffs Mind.
Abi, from Westbury Park, Clayton, went to school with Hartshill teen, Thomas McCauley, who took his own life aged 19. She is a keen supporter of North Staffs Mind’s Maccas Project, which was established in Tom’s memory to teach young men about mental health and address the stigma attached to it.
Abi, who began training while on maternity leave from her job as a marketing manager for Bet365, said: “Tom was a good friend. I’ve witnessed the devastation mental illness can have on a family. I don’t think it is spoken about enough.
“I thoroughly enjoyed running the Disney Half Marathon. The atmosphere was fantastic and the fact that I was able to raise money for such an amazing charity made it even better!”
Mark, a dentist from Stone, has been running for 10 years and is a member of Stone Master Marathoners. He runs 365 days of the year.
He said: “The Disney Marathon was a lovely event, surrounded by lovely people, for a brilliant charity. A big thank you to all who generously donated.
“Mental health is an issue close to my heart. Professionally I see it every day. All sorts of people. It doesn’t differentiate. All ages, any gender, any job, any lifestyle. The more we can do to help these individuals and their families cope, the better.”
Robert Dawson, project worker at the Maccas Project, commended their incredible effort. He said: “We are always extremely grateful for the support offered to our project by the local community.
“Fundraising is a vital part of the work we do to support the mental health of young men in North Staffordshire and it is wonderful to see Tom’s friends are still so determined to honour his legacy. Tom’s memory is at the heart of everything we do and the money raised by Abi and Mark will continue to help our project move forward.”
To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Abigail-Neeld