The Dragons for me represent courage, strength fearlessness and getting back up again no matter how many times life knocks you down.
I am lucky enough to have never directly experienced the effects of suicide, or mental health problems in my family. I have however, been a helpless bystander as friends have gone through it, and I have also been shocked by the number of people that have come forward to tell me that they have contemplated suicide at some point in their life.
I first backed the Dragons in support of Diva - a long term family friend. She called out for volunteers to skydive to raise money- so I did. The following year it was the London to Brighton cycle ride... I volunteered again. What inspired me to get involved with the charity as a Trustee was, rather selfishly, the “this could have been me” feeling. Pete is the same age as my big brother; they went to school together, lived in the same town, lived on the same estate and had the same friends. I can’t ever imagine how I would have felt had it been my brother that made this choice. I have nothing but admiration for Alison. Had it been me, I would have spiraled in to a hole of self-destruction. Alison on the other hand has become a true inspiration and every day I am in awe of her. In awe of her determination, in awe of her drive and in awe of the way she has used this typically taboo experience to ensure others are supported.
I really cannot think of anything more satisfying or motivating than being able to use my knowledge and experience to help drive Pete's Dragons forwards.