Cheque presented to Norfolk mental health charity in memory of Shouldham's Emily Owen
A 22-year-old, whose best friend tragically died in March, has praised the community for their efforts in raising thousands of pounds for a mental health charity.
Katy Walkey has helped to raise a total of £4,480 for Norfolk and Waveney Mind in memory of Shouldham's Emily Owen who died days after attempting to take her own life.
She had known Emily since attending Marham Village Preschool with her elder sister Annabel, and organised a raffle at Shouldham village green at the end of August for the cause.
Miss Walkey said: "There was lots of support from the village and people we did not know. People donated prizes and bought raffle tickets, and it seemed like everyone wanted to help which was just amazing.
"I did not expect to raise that much. I thought we would raise £1,000 at the most."
She presented a cheque to Beth Twite of Norfolk and Waveney Mind, while Emily's former workplace, the King's Arms pub, has also set up a Just Giving page for the mental health charity.
Despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, the raffle was held outdoors in a safe manner with prizes including £200 and £150 cash prizes.
There was also a buggy safari tour of Watatunga Safari Park, an RAF Marham base tour and a tattoo voucher worth £120 on offer. Emily's little sister Evie picked out the first raffle ticket on the day.
"I just wanted to do something to help," Miss Walkey continued. "Norfolk and Waveney Mind can help anyone else struggling with mental health issues and support families who have lost a loved one."
Emily would have turned 20 on October 15 and Miss Walkey will forever cherish her memories of her friend.
She said: "I have lots of memories of Emily. She was crazy but beautiful inside and out. It is a big loss for everyone who knew her.
"I knew she was going through stuff but I just did not know how bad it was."
The King's Arms' fundraising page for Emily can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Emilyo where more than £7,000 has been raised by over 300 supporters so far.
Visit www.norfolkandwaveneymind.org.uk or call the Samaritans 24/7 free helpline on 116123 for mental health support. Alternatively visit www.samaritans.org.