A charity set up in memory of Burnham-On-Sea teenager Charley Marks is holding a unique fundraising event today (Saturday).

In Charley’s Memory was set up after Charley took his own life, aged 18, in September 2014.

The charity now supports and helps hundreds of young people and those affected by mental health.

The group is holding its ‘Walking out of Darkness’ event today in which we over 400 people will walk 10km.

“With Charley’s 3-year ‘angelversary’ being last Sunday on World Suicide Day, we have a lot of people walking this year in memory of Charley,” said Joanne Clement, his mother.

The Office of National Statistics reported Southwest England had the highest completed suicides across the country in 2016; only Wales and Scotland had more.

“We can all make a difference because, not all completed suicides are due to Mental Health difficulites,” she added. “Suicides are known to have occurred due to family problems, relationship issues, financial, studying and work pressures, as well as bullying and many more social situations.”

“‘Walking Out Of Darkness’ is an opportunity for everyone to walk together in support and unity for individuals and families suffering from Mental Health Difficulties and those, who have lost loved ones by suicide.”

“The event is not only a 10k walk, but includes different attractions on the Grand Pier and the seafront plus, a mental health to showcase local and national mental health and suicide prevention charities and services, located at Beach Lawns.” More details are online at www.walkingoutofdarkness.com

In Charley’s Memory is inviting all registered participants to receive a free ½-day Mental Health Awareness course, which covers several topics including: recognising signs of Mental Health distress, ask and create space for someone to communicate openly, information on charities and services able to offer advice, support family, friends and other people to access assistance, empower yourself to break down the stigma.

Dawn Carey, the Operations Manager from In Charley’s Memory said: “Mental health does not discriminate. Whether it is a young person like Charley who was beaten by the invisible illness at 18 or a work colleague who, to the outside world seems to have it all, anyone can be affected.”

“For us, Walking out of Darkness is about people from all walks of life young and old coming together to help raise awareness and reduce the stigma. Walking side by side talking and sharing stories, and knowing that you’re not alone and it’s okay to talk. That is why In Charley’s Memory is part of Walking out of Darkness.”

Register today and together with thousands of people around the country, we can empower and inspire the end of mental illness stigma, raising mental health awareness and suicide prevention at ‘Walking Out Of Darkness’.

“A special thank you goes to Sean at The Vic in Burnham who has raised over £1000 for us so far from the two live events that he’s put on.”

“Also he has ‘Charley’s Choice’ a beer! Use a blanket donation, a sponsored slim plus regular kareoke and he’s also planning a street party to raise monies for ICM next year.”

Pictured: Dawn Carey, the charity’s Operations Manager, and Vicky Cooper, its lead counsellor, right, at the group’s base in the town’s Manor House in the Manor Gardens