Vertu Motors service adviser raises awareness of suicide prevention with gruelling night-time charity challenge

  • An impressive £1,500 raised for mental health charities by Vertu service adviser
  • Flynn Elliott took on 12-mile hike through the night alongside his mother, Jo
  • Pair initially raised £750 for the Headlight Project and The Teesside Charity before Vertu matched total

Time 8:26 am, August 16, 2023

A Vertu Motors service adviser has raised £1,500 for mental health charities after taking on a gruelling night-time challenge.

Flynn Elliott, from Vertu Teesside BMW, hiked 12 hours through the night in support of the Headlight Project and The Teesside Charity.

He was joined by his mother, Jo Elliott, as the pair walked from darkness into the light, to symbolise the struggles of mental health.

The mother-son duo were motivated by tragic personal losses that left them desperate to shine a light on mental health issues.

In 2019, when Flynn was just 15 years old, his best friend tragically lost his beloved 17-year-old sister to suicide. Then, the following year, one of Jo’s oldest friends took their own life.

The pair’s charity challenge initially raised an impressive £750, but after hearing about the challenge Vertu stepped in and matched the figure, taking the total to £1,500.

Robert Forrester, CEO of Vertu Motors, said: ‘Flynn and Jo’s commitment to raising awareness for mental health and suicide is commendable.

‘Their initiative to take on this hike will hopefully bring hope and support to many who may be struggling silently.

‘Vertu Motors is proud to support them in this cause and will continue to champion mental health awareness.’

According to the Office for National Statistics, 115 people die by suicide every week in the UK, 75 per cent of whom are male.

NHS Digital estimates that one in five people experience suicidal thoughts in their lifetime, while one in 14 will engage in self-harm.

Speaking about the impact this can have on loved ones, Flynn Elliott added: ‘I have personally witnessed the pain that mental health struggles can inflict on individuals and families.

‘It was crucial for me and Mum to step forward, to be part of the solution, and help create a more supportive environment for those in need.

‘We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received from Robert, my colleagues here at Vertu Teesside BMW and the many others who have kindly donated.’

Anyone working in the motor trade who is suffering from mental health issues can contact Ben, the automotive industry charity, for help.

Pictured: Flynn Elliott (in car) with Robert Forrester, CEO of Vertu Motors, and Anthony Masterson, operations director for Vertu Motors BMW & Mini

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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