17 May Northamptonshire mental health and suicide prevention charity renamed as ‘Kelly’s Heroes’
We Mind & Kelly Matters, based in Northamptonshire, is updating its name to ‘Kelly’s Heroes’ to highlight their growth and uniting its mental health services and fundraising activities.
The charity was set up in 2019 after the devastating loss of Kelly Hewitt, who tragically ended her life at just 24 years of age. Within weeks of her passing the family named their charity ‘We Mind & Kelly Matters,’ emerging from their immense grief, shock, and anger that ‘Kelly mattered’. Following the charity set up, numerous fundraising events began, and the band of resolute fundraisers and followers were aptly named Kelly’s Heroes.
The two largest events, consisted of cycle rides from John O’Groats to Lands’ End in 2020, and again The Loneliest Road Cycle Tour across Europe, and New York to San Francisco in 2022. Teams of cyclists rode as Kelly’s Heroes, who not only raised in excess of £300k, created enormous awareness for mental health whilst breaking down stigma around suicide.
John Hewitt, Kelly’s dad, and co-founder of the charity explained:
‘The renaming marks an exciting new chapter for the charity. Having organised the Kelly’s Heroes cycle rides, I’ve trained and ridden with those heroes and the charity evolved, developing expertise and forming its own identity, growing from a foundation of pure grief to a place of hope. The family and also the cyclists have met with some of the recipients of where the funding goes, people who have used the support, accessed bereavement workshops and more, and it quickly became clear to us, that they are all heroes, each and every one of them. We will always want Kelly’s name to be remembered and we think the new name is a fitting tribute to her memory and the tireless work put in by our staff and supporters over the last 4 years’.
Kelly’s Heroes hopes to continue breaking down barriers and open up more conversations around the importance of not only managing your mental health but maintaining and promoting good positive wellbeing. Recognising the importance of early interventions, providing accessible mental health support, as well as offering bespoke training to local schools, businesses, and communities around mental health and suicide prevention. Mental health deserving a space for conversation.
CEO, Sherry Adams added:
‘The charity was founded around two purposes, to raise much needed funding, and to enable people in need to get support when they need it. The two are coming together under one name, one identity, all the events and work every fundraiser undertakes, all the donations they all underpin our support services, it became clear we needed just one name. Through changing to solely “Kelly’s Heroes”, it better reflects the ethos of all that we do, and that everyone who either works for the charity, fundraises for the charity, or bravely reaches out for support, they are all Kelly’s Heroes. If you cycle thousands of miles, run a marathon with tired limbs, have a cake sale, or be the one that reaches out and asks for help when you are feeling low, each and every person has mental health, and all of those actions are admirable, brave and determined, defining heroic’.
Rachael Hewitt, Kelly’s mum, and co-founder of the charity said:
‘We are incredibly proud of what we have been able to achieve in the first four years, and in awe of all those who have reached out and recognised they needed support with their mental health. We are now looking forward to building on our identity as Kelly’s Heroes and aim to support more people and earlier, ideally before any crisis. We want to offer new services, support and activities that help promote and maintain good positive wellbeing, for adults and young people. Including all those who have found support and are in recovery, the earlier people get support the better for everyone, and our community. It’s our ambition and aspiration to help people live well and stay well, that will be fitting for Kelly’s legacy.’
Kelly’s Heroes will continue to support with free services, including 365 days of online support, every evening from 6-9pm, their ‘Listening Ear’ service offers emotional support to everyone, for anyone struggling to manage good positive wellbeing, to dealing with poor mental health, suicide ideations, and bereavements by suicide.
‘Wellbeing Wednesdays’ will see the continuation of walk and talks, creative craft groups and in the community coffee shop meet ups, knowing small talk saves lives. Services are on offer for everyone, whether it be someone who wants advice on staying well or wanting to make lifestyle changes, through to those looking for structured counselling and one to one support.
The training courses available range from Mental Health First Aid through to Safeguarding from Suicide, and are available to schools, colleges, universities, businesses, charities, and everyone in the community. All funds raised by delivering training go directly back to supporting people in need.
Amy Hewitt, Kelly’s sister, and co-founder of the charity added:
‘Millions of people of all ages from all walks of life are experiencing issues with their mental health and so many struggle to find help, we want to make it as easy as possible for people to take the first step in getting support. With the charity and now the support services being known as Kelly’s Heroes it will broaden the awareness of the charity. It starts with where funds are being raised, through to accessing support services, and booking a training course and coming along to an awareness event. You can be one of Kelly’s Heroes, no matter how you are involved, in whatever capacity, whatever you do, or wherever you are.’
For more information, whether you are a potential Charity of Year business, fundraiser, looking for training courses or support head over to the website at www.kellysheroes.org.uk