An inspirational young woman who has spent the last year raising awareness of mental health after losing her brother to suicide, has won a Pride of Britain award.
Hannah Richards, from Bexhill, has also raised more than £8,000 for charity since losing her brother and ‘best friend’ Sam, on his 20th birthday, in August 2017.
The 23-year-old has pushed through her personal grief to raise awareness and funds for CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) and You Raise Me Up, which supports families who have lost a young adult.
She did so by completing the Brighton Marathon and Tough Mudder – both with a bad knee – and then skydiving with her mum Julie and dad Anthony.
Hannah was nominated for the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain ITV Meridian Fundraiser of the Year award by her aunt, Lisa Payne. She made it on to the shortlist and was then announced as one of four finalists for the region.
Her story was aired on ITV last week – alongside the three other finalists – and she was revealed as the winner on Friday’s programme.
Her mum, Julie Richards, said: “We are all really proud. She is absolutely amazing.
“What happened was very traumatic, and we’ll never get over it. But we all support each other, and Hannah has a strong network of family and friends around her.
“She has done so well to do all that she has done, while dealing with the pain of losing Sam. We are all so proud.”
Hannah will now be representing the region at the national Daily Mirror Pride of Britain awards later this year.
Mum Julie added: “We are all really excited about it. It feels a bit unreal – this sort of thing doesn’t happen to us.
“Everyone who was nominated is a winner.
“We’ve had so many loving messages from members of the public, and family and friends. It’s been so lovely.”
Hannah doesn’t plan to stop here, either – she has already signed up to next year’s Brighton Marathon, and is planning a bike ride from London to Paris.
To watch the moment Hannah found out she’d won, visit http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2018-10-05/pride-of-britain-winner-for-east-of-itv-meridian-revealed/.