A CHARITY set up in memory of a young woman from Irvine is stepping up its efforts to get people talking about their mental health.

Megan’s Space was set up by the Copeland family after the tragic death of their daughter Megan in 2019.

Megan was just 20 when she passed after a long struggle with mental illness.

Since the charity was set up, with the aim of de-stigmatising the conversation around mental health so that others in a similar situation to Megan can be saved, it has provided around 85 support packages, each helping a person in need rediscover hope and happiness.

It provides psychological support and advocacy for children and young people suffering from mental illnesses, as well as the loved ones of those affected.

Next on their list of events to raise funds for – and awareness of – the charity’s work is a bingo night on March 19 with a St Patrick’s Day theme, while the charity is also hoping to recruit 100 volunteers to take part in the Glasgow Kiltwalk at the end of April.

That follows a full month of fund-raising last July in what the charity called ‘Megan’s Memorial Month’ – in which its fund-raising team brought in more than £12,400.

Rebecca Black, trustee of fund-raising at Megan’s Space, said: “We raised an incredible amount of money last year thanks to the community pulling together.

“July was full of events catered to anyone, of any age. This year, we hope to go bigger and better. The team and I have already planned all the fundraising events for 2022, as well as releasing new merchandise.

“Our sales and fundraisers fund the indispensable work that the charity do. We truly rely on the support of others.”

Charity chief executive Jenny Copeland delivered sessions to 75 local secondary school pupils in December, with the aim of reducing anxieties around sitting prelims and leaving school.

The sessions led to the charity engaging with some new clients, and was a good example of how sparking conversation and normalising ‘taboo’ subjects encourages those in potential danger to come forward and receive the support they need.

The charity, named in honour of Megan, who went to school at St Matthew’s Academy in Saltcoats, has a small but dedicated team that sells merchandise and organises fund-raisers, with all proceeds going to provision of care for clients.

It’s now looking for businesses in Irvine to donate prizes for the forthcoming bingo night, taking place at St Mary’s Church Hall in West Road on Saturday, March 19, with any and all help appreciated – and with local band The Fin also set to perform, it should be a lively and worthwhile event.

Looking ahead to the Kiltwalk, charity chair Rob Copeland has pledged to help 100 young people before the event on April 23 – and is aiming to recruit 100 people to take part in the event.

Participants can choose to complete a walk of three, 10 or 23 miles along part or all of the whole route – making it achievable for everyone.

For every £1 the charity raises, entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter, a long-time supporter of the Kiltwalk, will donate 50p.

If you are interested in attending either of the events, please contact Megan’s Space Merch on Facebook.

Most importantly, if you, or a young person you know need support or even just a chat, this can also be accessed through messaging Megan’s Space on Facebook.

All messages are completely confidential and will be treated with the utmost compassion.

You can also donate to the charity by BACS transfer to the recipient ‘Megan’s Space’ (sort code 831727, account number 0069815).