James Parkes, Papyrus
James Parkes, Papyrus

How James’ Run Will Help To Save Young Lives

8 April 2024

A runner from Ripon is preparing for the biggest run of his life to help save those who are struggling with thoughts of suicide.

The London Marathon, hailed by many as the most iconic marathon in the world, takes place on Sunday 21 April and James Parkes has been training for the past few months to conquer the 26.2 miles while raising funds and awareness of the charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide.

James, who is a member of the local running club Ripon Runners, secured a Club Ballot Place in December for this year’s London Marathon. He first took up running eight years ago as a complete beginner when he joined a Couch to 5k group, where he struggled to run for a minute at a time. Since then he has run distances of up to 15 miles.


With the support of his running community James has gradually increased his distances in preparation for the London Marathon. James said:

It has been a tough journey to increase my mileage week on week, but the support I have received both in the way of running companionship and with donations has been amazing. I am driven to achieve this personal milestone and I am very proud to be running in aid of PAPYRUS.


PAPYRUS is a familiar charity to James, one he has supported for the past seven years after being introduced to the charity by a bereaved parent whose son took his own life. In 2018 James ran the Great North Run for PAPYRUS, hosted PAPYRUS HOPEWALK and has been a big advocate of the charity ever since.

In October 2022 James secured the role of PAPYRUS’ Area Manager for England North. covering West and East Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, North West and North East localities and sees firsthand the lifesaving work the charity does across the UK.


James said:

I am inspired by the many volunteers and fundraisers I meet and I wanted to challenge myself to do something both physically and mentally challenging whilst giving something back to the charity, helping to increase awareness that suicide is the biggest killer of young people under the age of 35 in the UK and everyone has a part to play to reduce the stigma and encourage people to reach out for support.


One way people can do this is through HOPELINE247 – Call: 0800 068 414, Text Hope to 88247 or email: pat@papyrus-uk.org – HOPELINE 247 is PAPYRUS’ dedicated suicide prevention helpline, where trained advisers work on a safety plan with young people aged 35 and under who are experiencing thoughts of suicide, to help keep them safe.

PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide is the UK charity dedicated to the prevention of suicide and the promotion of positive mental health and emotional wellbeing in young people. The charity exists to reduce the number of young people who take their own lives, by shattering the stigma surrounding suicide and equipping young people and their communities with the skills to recognise and respond to emotional distress. PAPYRUS believes that no young person should have to struggle alone with thoughts of suicide.


James’ fundraising through JustGiving and donations can be made here

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