A TEENAGE girl will be skydiving to raise money in memory of her friend, who sadly took her own life.

Kelsey Sonn, 18, of Banyward Way, Rochford, will be fundraising for mental health charity, Mind, which is close to her heart for several reasons.

Kelsey has struggled with mental health issues herself and was first admitted to The Priory psychiatric hospital in Birmingham when she was 15.

She was then moved to Rochford hospital two months later where she first met Megan Dowsett. Kelsey spent a total of nine months in hospital.

Unfortunately, Megan was killed by a train last year.

Kelsey said: “I instantly clicked with Megan. Her smile lit up the room and she always made me feel at ease when I was having a bad day.

“She inspired me to be positive and smile.

“We only ever met in hospital, but she is always someone I speak about – we were good friends.”

Kelsey has vowed to make a difference to those who suffer with mental health issues.

Kelsey, who studies social studies at South East Essex College, volunteers as a public speaker for the Anna Freud Centre – a mental health organisation in London which works closely with the Duchess of Cambridge.

Kelsey’s aim is to raise £600 for Mind, and she has raised £390 so far.

Kelsey added: “Mental health is so important to me as it affects your everyday life. I’d do anything to change mental health and I won’t stop until I do!

“I am very nervous about the skydive as I haven’t been on a plane for about ten years now but it’s almost like a leap for life as the money I am raising can save someone’s life, and if I can change at least one life that’s all that matters.

“The response I’ve got so far is amazing as I have always struggled with feelings of rejection, so the fact people are willing to help me, step up and be there for me to support something that means a lot to me is so overwhelming – I have cried a few times!”

She continued: “Megan and I had such a laugh all the time, we were good buddies, helping each other as and when we could. Her smile never failed to brighten my day and ultimately made my first stay in hospital much more easier.

“Long story short, I want to do this in memory of Megan, as well as fight for what is right for mental health. I want to make a mark, do what I can and help change at least one life.

“My ultimate aim is to raise £600 for Mind and I need to raise a minimum of £395 to do the skydive. However, I will not let anything stop me!”

To donate, visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/kelseymarie