When Mandy Price was going through tough times, one source of support was the Samaritans.
With a much better outlook, the 43-year-old is now a volunteer with the charity and showed her commitment by raising more than £1,100 by completing the Manchester Marathon.
She is hoping to boost the coffers with her online fund-raising page www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/mandyprice1, which will close at the end of the month.
Mandy, of Warton, knows how hard life can be when she was widowed in her 30s when her wife, Sue, died of cancer in 2014.
As she began comfort eating, she piled on the weight, but a year later, she lost 8.5st over two years.
Part of her transformation was through joining a Couch-to-5k running group, where she completed her first 5k by December 2017. This was followed by running more than 1,000km the following year,
Mandy, who remarried five years ago, said: “I wanted to see what I could do and see how far I could push myself. I love running and now it is such a huge part of my life. Running makes me feel better and it is great for my mental health. I have met a lot of fantastic friends through running and having a chat with them feels a bit like therapy.
“The marathon went okay. I picked up an ankle injury at mile eight and by mile 16, when I saw my family and friends I wanted to stop, but my friend who I was running with kept me going. I am really pleased I did it.
“I did it in five hours 48 minutes. My target was five-and-a-half but I had to slow down at the end. With my injury, I thought I would have been a lot slower, so I am pleased with that.
“I am pleased I have raised so much. Knowing how much I was raising kept me going through training and I had to carry on.
“I have now got all the cash from my sponsorship and my online account closes at the end of the month.”
The mother-of-two joined the Blackpool Samaritans a year ago as a way to give something back for the support she received from the charity, as well as family and friends.
She said: “When my wife died I gave up work to look after my two sons. They are older now, with one at college and another at primary school, so I started working part time as a welfare assistant.
“At the same time, I thought about volunteering with the Samaritans.
“It gave me a sense of purpose and I met lots of other volunteers who are amazing and really supportive. It is nice to be able to help others. It has taught me a lot about listening more and talking less.
“I used Samaritans when I went through a bad patch when my first son was born 17 years ago and I had a lot of family stuff going on.
“I was in a desperate place, so I used their helpline quite a lot. I didn’t feel I needed them when I was widowed.”
A spokesman from the Blackpool Samaritans said: “Blackpool Samaritans is delighted to congratulate our volunteer Mandy for completing the Manchester Marathon.
“We are remarkably proud and thankful that she has so far raised more than £1,000 for our branch.”