Poignant charity appeal for Barnstaple councillor

Simon Harvey and his wife Catarina.

Simon Harvey and his wife Catarina. - Credit: Archant

Anniversary prompts councillor’s call to help tackle mental health issues in North Devon.

A Barnstaple town councillor is hoping to raise money and awareness for a mental health charity to mark the 10th anniversary of his wife’s death.

Councillor Simon Harvey is passionate about services for those battling mental health issues, having experienced the difficulties and trauma firsthand after his wife Catarina committed suicide, aged just 34.

He was keen to organise a fund raiser for the charity WAND to coincide with the anniversary, and was delighted when several local businesses offered to help.

The M&Co store at Green Lanes in Barnstaple is hosting a fashion show on Thursday, October 10 at 7.30pm, with all welcome.

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It is especially poignant for Mr Harvey, who married Catarina on October 10, 1989, which this year also happens to be World Mental Health Day.

He said more than 20 businesses in the town had agreed to take WAND collection boxes, while several had also donated prizes for a raffle on the night.

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To help make the event a success, organisers are keen to hear from any ladies willing to act as models on the night, as well as a DJ with their own sound equipment who is also willing to help out – if you can help, call the number below.

If the event could raise even £500, it would be enough to run the WAND’s helpline for a week: “WAND covers all of North Devon and as a councillor I’m aware there’s a need for support locally. The helpline is open to everybody and it’s free,” said Mr Harvey.

“My wife suffered with mental health for a number of years and tried to take her life several times, eventually she succeeded. It’s something you never get over, something you try to come to terms with but it is there in your life all the time.”

If you can help with the October 10 fashion show or would like tickets at £5 each, contact Simon Harvey on 07817 084812.

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