A GROUP of friends from Ellesmere have paid tribute to one of their own by raising money for a mental health charity.

Izzy Piekarski took her own life last year after struggling with mental illness but to commemorate her life and raise money for charity Jake Wells, Evan Fowles, Nicola Alison-Smith, Danny Barker, Annabel Lea and Lorna Dale took part in the Ellesmere 10K, held earlier this year.

As well as paying tribute to their friend, the group also ran to raise money for mental health charity Mind.

Annabel Lea, who was one of those to take part in the race, hoped the money raised from the race would go to a good cause.

"Our friend Izzy was struggling last year and we sadly lost her to suicide. We all felt so helpless as nobody had any idea how low she had got to have wanted to take such drastic measures," said Annabel.

"To the outside world all appeared normal, she had so much to live for, her GCSEs were around the corner, but she would have aced them. She was so bright, so beautiful and to all of us so happy.

"But that is the thing with anxiety and depression, sufferers learn to mask their symptoms and don't know how to ask for help or are not aware what help is available for mental health sufferers.

"Mind is the most amazing charity, helping to support clients and their families, bridging the gap between illness and full dependence, catching perhaps the people who would normally fall through the system.

"Sadly We weren't able to help Izzy, but by completing the Ellesmere 10K, we hope the small amount we raised may keep a few telephone lines open to help someone else.

"Evan Fowles, Jake Wells and Myself all ran the race for you Izzy Piekarski. We were supported by Danny Barker, Nicola Alison-Smith and Lorna Dale.

"Thanks for being there and a huge thank you to all who sponsored us."