Almost £3,000 has been raised for a north-east mental health drop-in centre launched in memory of a nursery teacher.
CPR Health and Fitness in Ellon took on its second Prowler Push to support Shirley’s Space, set up in memory of mum-of-two Shirley Findlay, from Peterhead, who took her own life last August at the age of 37.
About 100 gym members were taking turns to push a prowler – a weighted piece of gym equipment often used by rugby clubs – around a track in the gym for 24 hours, all in the name of the group set up for Shirley, who worked as a nursery teacher in Ellon.
Personal trainer Carla Robertson, who runs the gym with husband Pete, said it aims to do an annual challenge in support of a local cause, this year choosing Shirley’s Space.
Carla said: “We wanted to support them because Shirley was local and her mother-in-law attended the gym.
“They just opened the drop-in centre two weeks ago so they’re really busy.
“They say they’re hoping to put the money towards the training of more volunteers.”
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Following Shirley’s death, her loved ones were determined the tragedy should be used to help others and have raised nearly £40,000 to create a space where people who are struggling can go to talk.
The centre, which opened up at Crimond Medical Practice and Community Hub earlier this month, has already helped 35 people in the region and saved lives in the process.
Ms Findlay’s nephew Cameron Findlay, one of the founders of the group, said: “It means so much to us because we’re going through the charity process and once that is confirmed, it’s funds like these that help cover all the costs at Shirley’s Space.
“It’s not just vital to us but vital to the local community.
“We’ve been set up for 10 days and we’ve already spoken to more than 35 people and that’s only with limited services.
“So this fund helps us train more volunteers and to spread the word about our services and hopefully go on to running a five-day drop-in centre.”
Cameron said he was pleased with the group’s progress so far, as they originally thought it would take about two to three years to set it up.
He said: “We are already running our services and have already saved lives and made numerous successful interventions.”
Shirley’s Space drop-in centre is open on a Tuesdays from 10am to 4pm and there is a weekly men’s night on Thursdays from 7pm to 8pm.
There is also a woman’s afternoon/night session on Wednesdays from 2pm to 4pm and 7pm to 9pm, with both of these events held every fortnight.
And a text service launched at the weekend which runs from 10pm to 2am on Friday and Saturday nights, available on 07940 959002.
Samaritans also offers a helpline which is available around the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
It is free to phone 116 123 and anyone with concerns for themselves or a family member can get in touch.