A COCKERMOUTH boy who lost his dad to suicide is doing a challenge in his memory.

Shaun Mayall, 10, was inspired to do something following a chat with his teacher, Gemma Winter, at Fairfield Primary School. He will raising money for Suicide Bereavement Support (SBS), in recognition of the help he and his mum, Helen, received.

Shaun's dad, Andy, died in 2014. He was well known, much-loved and worked as a baker at The Coffee Kitchen in Cockermouth.

After much brainstorming, Shaun came up with the idea of a 10k run. “I decided to run 10k because I’m 10 years old," said Shaun. "My target is to raise £101 because £100 just doesn’t look so good!”

He plans to do the run on Thursday, December 10, in the school grounds. “Everyday at school, all the children run or walk a 1km route that is marked out around the playground," said Shaun.

"I always try to do extra laps because I know that running and exercise is important. The furthest I have run is the 5K Workington Park Run in 2019, so I will need to really prepare for the 10K. I rode for 20 miles on my bike at the weekend with my friend, Nate, and will do some 5km practice runs with my Aunt Rachel.”

He is keen to raise money for SBS. “My dad took his own life, so I wanted to help other people who have lost someone in their family who they really love," said Shaun.

"Mum explained that SBS have groups across Cumbria where people can meet and talk to each other about their feelings. It’s only a small charity and I wanted to fundraise for them because the way that they help people is super important.”

Shaun was only three years old when Andy died, leaving Helen to explain the unthinkable to a child who was too young to understand.

He remembers his dad with great fondness: “My dad was really nice and kind – and he loved chess. I was a bit young to play chess with him, but I love chess now. I think he’d be really proud of me.”

His dad was a huge fan of the Beano: “Dad’s favourite character was Denis the Menace, so I’m going to complete the whole run dressed in Denis’ stripey shirt and a black wig!”

Shaun also has a poignant message for others who have been bereaved by suicide: “People like me should know that they can achieve anything they put their mind to. I feel really sad about my dad, but that doesn’t stop me from doing anything that’s important to me.”

To sponsor Shaun, go to: www.justgiving.com/campaign/shauns10K.