On the 10th March 2020 my world fell apart completely. My beautiful and talented daughter and only child (Brodie) felt that she could no longer cope in this world tragically taking her own life (she was just 16 years old).
Brodie and I were as close as a mother and daughter could possibly be. We shared a mutual love of animals and the outdoors (especially with horses). Brodie was an extremely talented show jumper and we spent nearly all of our time at the yard and travelling the country show jumping. We loved spending our time together! Brodie also excelled academically and somehow managed to juggle school workload with her busy equine lifestyle. Brodie was predicted amazing GCSE grades in all subject areas at school and was busy planning what she would like to do in the future to achieve her dreams.
During the months, weeks and days leading to losing Brodie, there seemed to be very little change in the way she acted. She continued to make precise notes in preparation for her GCSE exams, she continued to compete at shows and meticulously care for Archie (her horse). Most of all, she continued to tell me that she loved me numerous times a day.
I was aware that Brodie was having difficulties in school during year 11 with ‘friends’ that she had known from an early age. They seemed to be making her feel isolated and turning other friendship groups against her. I had tried to encourage Brodie to let me help and contact the school for support but she was adamant that she was ok and that she was able to ‘deal with it’. Although Brodie was reluctant at the time to have any intervention, I made sure that Brodie knew I was always there to love and support her as I had done throughout her whole life. I truly believed that she would never feel that there was no other way forward than to take her own life. I thought that is what tragically happens to other families! I couldn’t have been more wrong! One minute we were going about our usual life and daily routines and the next, my life and the lives of so many others changed forever…you see, the ripple of a life lost to suicide reaches out further and wider than you could ever imagine.
As a parent nothing can prepare you for such tragedy. For your whole world and everything you live for to be gone within the space of a few hours is beyond comprehensible. At 7pm on the 10th of March 2020 I still had my beautiful girl by my side laughing and joking and by 9.30pm she was gone! My purpose for living, my role of being a mum was just ripped away in a heartbeat and being replaced with only a huge void.
After losing my beautiful girl I realised that I had two choices; To lie down and admit defeat or to stand up, carry on and fight on to help others. I began to understand the huge impact and the rise in poor mental wellbeing and suicide in young people. I began to see the stigma around young people feeling unable to ask for help and support with their mental health and so I began my own journey of raising awareness. Raising awareness to help prevent the loss of more young lives that leave so many parents, families, peer groups and whole communities in utter devastation and heartbreak #DoItForBrodie
Since losing my beautiful Brodie, I wanted to look for a way in which to honour her memory but also to offer help and support to others at the same time.
I began making Horseshoes of hope in February 2022. I thought it was a really lovely way to remember what Brodie loved to do in her life and her love of horses whilst also raising awareness for others.
The horseshoes are made up and decorated by myself. Once made, they are taken by friends and volunteers to be placed in appropriate places around the UK and beyond…hopefully finding their way to someone struggling and in need of support. They each contain a poem for the ’finder’ to read and a QR code to scan to take you directly to the DoItForBrodie website. Here, the recipient can find the relevant help and support they may need.
I have made a few hundred horseshoes to date and I only hope and pray that at least some of them have helped someone struggling with low mental wellbeing or thoughts of suicide.
Not long to go now before we set off for London on Saturday! It would be so lovey to see lots of family and friends at the start point as we set off on our mammoth journey 🚶🏻♀️🐴
If you are planning on joining us we will be at The David Broome Event Centre (NP26 5XP) from 8am on Saturday 25th November. We really appreciate the kindness of David,Liz and all the family for allowing this to happen (I know that Brodie would have loved this).
Please use the main entrance (pictured in photo) where there is lots of hard standing to be able to park (please do not park anywhere on the grassed areas). Liz and David have kindly offered for people to leave cars at the showground so if you would like to walk some of the way and collect cars later - thats fine.
BBC Breakfast will also be there live at the start point to see us off so make sure you’ve got your best cheering voices on if you’re panning on coming along 🤗
Thank you so much for kindly donating ♥️ It really means so much to me. The ‘Donate’ button below will take you to my Just Giving page. The chosen charities are set up as two teams as this is the only way that Just Giving will allow gift aid when raising for more than one charity. With love, Emma x
(DAY 1) Saturday 25/11/23
David Broome Event Centre to Almondsbury Interchange (13.99 miles)
(DAY 2) Sunday 26/11/23
Almondsbury Interchange to Saltford (15.23 miles)
(DAY 3) Monday 27/11/23
Saltford to Bath Waterside (5.97miles)
(DAY 4) Tuesday 28/11/23
Bath Waterside to Widbrook (10.59 miles)
(DAY 5) Wednesday 29/11/23
Widbrook to Devizes (11.23 miles)
(DAY 6) Thursday 30/11/23
Devizes too Woodborough (8.74 Miles)
(DAY 7) Friday 1/12/23
Woodborough to Marlborough (15.83 miles)
(DAY 8)Saturday 2/12/23
Marlborough to Berkshire (5.57 miles)
(DAY 9) Sunday 3/12/23
Berkshire to Reading West (15.11 miles)
(DAY 10) Monday 4/12/23
Reading West to Reading (7.53 miles)
(DAY 11) Tuesday 5/12/23
Reading to Knowl Hill (9.76 miles)
(DAY 12) Wednesday 6/12/23
Knowl Hill to Slough (10.96 miles)
(DAY 13) Thursday 7/12/23
Slough to Heathrow Terminal 3 (8.2 miles)
(DAY 14) Tuesday 12/12/23
Heathrow Terminal 3 to Hyde Park (12.99 miles)
(DAY 15) Wednesday 13/12/23
Hyde Park to ExCeL London The London International Horse Show (9.86 miles)
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