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The Anthony Seddon Fund

2095. Donna Thomas

Donna Thomas, from Ashton-under-Lyne, created ‘The Anthony Seddon Fund’ in memory of her son Anthony to provide mental health peer support for people of all ages.

Anthony died by suicide in 2013 at the age of 30 after 12 years of struggling with bipolar disorder. Just over a year after Anthony died, Donna wanted to set up a charity to help those going through similar situations and raise awareness of mental health issues. The ‘Anthony Seddon Fund’ was founded in July 2014 with the aim of offering peer support groups, including a suicide bereavement group, a hearing voices group and a Men’s support group, and signposting people from across Tameside to further support services. Through the charity, Donna has set up ‘The Anthony Seddon Centre’, a mental wellbeing centre which sees over 200 people of all ages a week on a range of mental health issues and offers volunteering opportunities to people living with long-term mental health conditions.

In a personal letter to Donna, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“After the terrible loss of your son Anthony, you have transformed that personal tragedy into a positive force which is helping so many people in your community improve their mental wellbeing.

“Over 200 people every week are now accessing the centre you have created in Anthony’s memory. It is wonderful that people of all ages, now have a place to open up, find mental health support and take up volunteering opportunities.”

Congratulating Donna on her award, Angela Rayner, Donna’s local MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, said: 

“I am incredibly proud of Donna, who set up the ‘Anthony Seddon Fund’ charity with her husband Brian in 2014 following the death of their son with the aim of supporting those with mental health issues across Tameside.

“Anthony sadly struggled with bipolar disorder from the age of 18 and was constantly in and out of hospital. The debilitating effects of the strong medications he was on eventually took their toll and Anthony died by suicide on 31st March 2013. He was just 30 years old.

“‘The Anthony Seddon Fund’ strives to improve the quality of life of those affected by mental health issues, their families, friends and carers in Tameside by promoting their physical and mental health through support, education, practical advice and signposting to other local services.

“In my role as MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, I have visited the charity many times and seen first-hand the extremely valuable work they do to help people at their time of need.

“I am in awe of the way Donna turned her private heartbreak into something so positive in her bid to make sure others going through similar experiences would be able to find vital help and support.

“She is an extremely deserving recipient of the Points of Light Award and she makes me so proud to represent her as her MP.”

Donna said:

“I’m extremely proud to be the recipient of the Points Of Light award. To be recognised for all the hard work and mental health support we offer at ‘The Anthony Seddon Fund’ means a lot. I must also say thank you to all the other volunteers and staff that support me and enable us to keep supporting people with mental health issues.”

See more about ‘The Anthony Seddon Fund

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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