Charity ball at Grange Farm Wittering

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A charity ball in memory of a woman who lost her battle with depression has raised more than £30,000 for mental health charities.

The Always on My Mind charity ball was held at Grange Farm, Wittering, earlier this month. It was held in memory of Wendy Hetherington, a woman described by her husband Will as “beautiful inside and out”. She took her own life in April 2017, following a battle with depression. She was just 39.

The event was organised by Wendy’s sister, Kerry Tanner, and a committee of six, who are all running the London Marathon on April 22.

The proceeds will be split equally between their chosen charities; Mind (Kerry Tanner, Sophie Cornish, Felix Cunningham), YoungMinds (Zoey Wurfel), The Mental Health Foundation (Simone Ashley-Norman) and the Cavernoma Alliance (Ellie Evans).

Guests who had been touched by Wendy’s irresistible enthusiasm, unstinting support for others in need and sheer bravery, came together from far and wide to celebrate her incredible life and help others in need. They were joined by Wendy’s parents Steve and Sue Allan, husband Will, parents-in-law and brothers-in-law.

Will said that a beautiful venue and sumptuous catering put a very generous room in the right mood to dig deep. Auction lots including a ski chalet, a shoot day, signed England rugby shirts and a rugby ball signed by the Scottish Rugby team, attracted plenty of enthusiastic bidders. Auctioneers Jon Tanner and Jonathan Papworth used all their skills to make sure every spare penny was spent.

Kerry said: “The Always on My Mind Ball was an overwhelming success raising more than £30,000 on the night, which was far more than we had ever hoped for.

“Wendy would have been delighted to think that she has been the source of such love and inspiration.

“ So many people were involved in making it a success but special thinks to the ‘super six’ who are running the marathon with me in memory of Wendy. Their dedication and commitment has been endless. I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”

The organisers also thanked everyone who attended, saying that despite the tragic circumstances the atmosphere was overwhelmingly positive, and it was a night of celebration for the gift of nearly 40 years of Wendy’s life.