South Shields dad steps up for Mind mental health charity in memory of much-missed younger brother
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Jonny Jessimer-Brown, 36, of Richmond Road, South Shields has challenged himself to take on 103 miles in three days after losing his younger brother James Brown took his own life last year.
The dad-of-one will set off on the circular Abbeys Amble route from Ripon Cathedral on a circular route, on Wednesday, July 22 finishing on Friday, July 24 – on what would have been James’ 25th birthday.
James, who lived in Lincoln, sadly passed away in November 2019.
He was the second one of his friendship group to take his own life.
Jonny, who lives with wife Lauren and daughter Skyler, two, said: “James was a very outgoing, ambitious lad with the world at his feet, he could of went so far in life but little did we know he suffered terribly with his mental health.”
He continued: "He phoned us in October and said he was feeling a bit down, so he came and stayed with us for a few days as he was hoping to move back up to the North East, but we had no idea he was in such a bad place.
"We just wish he had felt able to talk about it and maybe we could have helped him.”
Jonny – who will be joined by his other brother David as well as seven of James’ close friends and family members from across the UK – has channelled his grief into raising much needed awareness of mental health issues and male suicide.
He is also fundraising for mental health charity Mind, with over £1,200 donated so far.
“I’m planning on doing something every year on James’ birthday, setting myself different challenges to help raise awareness,” said Jonny.
"We’re a bit nervous about the trek, but I’m looking forward to it.
"We’ve all been out training every week individually – there’s no way we are not going to finish it.”