THE life of Monmouth man Ted Senior will be honoured with a large-scale fundraiser in his name next week.
Tributes to Ted flooded in after his death in February this year, and a trust was created in his name to support people who are in need of support and mental health help, particularly when in education. The fund has surpassed all expectations, with an initial £5,000 target soon becoming £60,000; and the trust now hopes to receive an official charity number later this year.
A former head boy at Monmouth Comprehensive School, 22-year-old medical student Ted was studying at the University of Swansea and was a popular face in the town, playing rugby and football in the area.
In the latest bid to boost the total, and to honour Ted, a team of cyclists will set off from Monmouth next Wednesday (17th October) on a mammoth journey to Amsterdam.
Led by Ted’s younger brother Max Senior and his best friend Cameron Watson-Boycott, and with a support crew including Ted’s father Syd, 12 cyclists will leave from Monmouth Comprehensive School next Wednesday morning.
The cyclists include Ted’s friends from playing rugby, from school and from university. They will then collect a further 20 cyclists from London before carrying on the journey to Holland.
But the massive effort doesn’t stop there. The group will then be joined in Holland by 59 more of Ted’s friends to take on the Amsterdam marathon on Sunday 21st October, and if that wasn’t enough, keeping the runners going will be 120 supporters from the UK.
The aim of the Ted Senior Foundation will be to work in places of education, starting in Bristol University but moving into schools and other universities, to get students to start opening up and talking about their problems; to normalise counselling and talking about how they’re getting on, and what they’re struggling with.
The need for more support for students going through difficulties was sadly highlighted by Ted’s sudden death, as his mum Diana explained: “Ted wasn’t suffering in any way from a long-term mental illness, he was just accused of something on Facebook and he thought he would lose his place at medical school.
“He spent his last two days on earth with no support. He was let down massively by the people who were meant to be looking out for him. Ted was always a talker, he’d tell us everything – often too much information – but that’s just the thing he needed then. These students have such a lack of support when they need it”.
Ted’s close friend Cameron took to social media earlier this year to talk about the forthcoming cycling challenge. He wrote: “One of the very few things that may help those who loved Ted move forward is knowing that we have the chance to prevent this from happening again. The statistics are horrifying, especially for young males. It is for that reason the family have decided to set up a foundation in memory of Ted, to help bring awareness and support to university students suffering from mental health issues.
“As a group of friends, we will be fundraising for this cause. In under a month we will be cycling over 250 miles from Monmouth Comprehensive School to Amsterdam. There we will pass on the baton to over 50 of Ted’s family and closest friends who are running the marathon for the foundation.
“Suicide in young people is everyone’s problem, please help us tackle this epidemic. Please sponsor us to help the Ted Foundation make a difference.”
To donate to the Ted Foundation visit www.gofundme.com/ted-foundation
Also in memory of Ted, Monmouth man Callum Gleed took on the Cardiff Half Marathon and raised more than £500 for the Ted Senior Foundation and charity Mind. He was due to be joined by his younger brother Joe, who was unable to run on the day due to a severe ankle injury.
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