Fundraising for mental health during lockdown: Deb’s story

During the first lockdown, a friend messaged me asking if I could crochet a bear in NHS scrubs, wearing a face mask for her. She had a pattern of a hero bear that was circulating on the Internet.

When the bear was finished, I posted a picture of it on Facebook. This sparked other people’s interest and the orders started coming in. Each time an order was completed, pictures would go on Facebook which would bring in more orders.

Each bear took about 7 hours to make. I was fortunate to have kept working throughout the lockdown so when I wasn’t working, I was crocheting! I made over 30 bears in total and raised £545 to donate to the Mental Health Foundation.


Another fundraising opportunity presented itself when it became compulsory to wear face masks in shops and on public transport. I have made over 250 masks so far and the profit from these will also be donated to the Mental Health Foundation.

In 2018 I was chosen to run the London Marathon for the Foundation. Unfortunately, I slipped down a few stairs and damaged my knee, but I was determined to participate in the Marathon, so I had to approach it differently. I trained to speed walk it instead. Well that particular year was the hottest London marathon on record so I was not the only person walking! I completed it in 7hrs 39 mins 45 seconds.

There always has to be a challenge for me to participate in, so I signed up to trek the Great Wall of China in October 2019 for MHF. This was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done, as my knees are damaged and have arthritis in them too, so stairs are a daily challenge. I don’t know if you know much about the Great Wall of China but there are more stairs than you could ever think of! I met an amazing bunch of people during the trek and we have stayed in touch since. We started as strangers and came home as friends.

Inspired by Deb's story?

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