Search

Scheme launched after disappearance of Sophie Smith reminded woman of her own husband going missing

PUBLISHED: 18:07 04 February 2018 | UPDATED: 21:58 04 February 2018

Emma Oldershaw has launched a scheme to provide badges to help people who are happy to be approached by others suffering with poor mental health. Picture: Ian Burt

Emma Oldershaw has launched a scheme to provide badges to help people who are happy to be approached by others suffering with poor mental health. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

A woman who was reminded of the disappearance of her own husband when a Gorleston student went missing on Boxing Day has launched a scheme to help those struggling with mental ill health.

Emma Oldershaw has launched a scheme to provide badges to help people who are happy to be approached by others suffering with poor mental health. Picture: Ian Burt Emma Oldershaw has launched a scheme to provide badges to help people who are happy to be approached by others suffering with poor mental health. Picture: Ian Burt

Emma Oldershaw, who lives in Pedham Road, Blofield Heath, was a new mother to daughter Sophia when her husband, Paul, walked out of their home in 2016.

Mrs Oldershaw, a property lawyer, said: “It was when my little girl was just over a month old, my husband walked out of the house and would not come back, he jumped in a taxi and went.”

The 38-year-old said Mr Oldershaw, 39, also a property lawyer, had been struggling with his mental health and she had post-natal depression at the time.

“Luckily, he was found by the police but he was gone all night,” Mrs Oldershaw said. “They phoned me about 7am to say they’d found him in the middle of Norwich just walking and then he’d fallen asleep by the castle. I was fearing this was it and that he wouldn’t come back.

Emma Oldershaw has launched a scheme to provide badges to help people who are happy to be approached by others suffering with poor mental health. Picture: Ian Burt Emma Oldershaw has launched a scheme to provide badges to help people who are happy to be approached by others suffering with poor mental health. Picture: Ian Burt

“And then on Boxing Day we heard about Sophie Smith, the young lady from Gorleston who walked out of her house, I was in tears, it brought it all back to me.”

Miss Smith, 21, left her home in Gorleston wearing just a vest and shorts. She was last seen on CCTV running towards the beach around 3am and had been suffering from severe anxiety and depression.

Now, Mrs Oldershaw has started a drive to provide badges people can wear to let others know they can talk to them if they need help.

“After Christmas I was thinking about it and I came up with the idea of the badges, similar to the Dementia Friends ones,” she said.

“People find it hard to talk - men particularly, but this way they will know someone is approachable.”

The badges, which cost £3, have already been a success and along with extra donations Mrs Oldershaw has raised more than £60 so far for Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind.

“We’re underfunded for mental health services in this area, so I want to keep the funding in East Anglia,” she added.

• To find out more about the scheme, or to order a badge, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emma-oldershaw1

Other News

08:53

Memories of Great Yarmouth will be raising funds for a charity 
which looks after older people and their pets.

More than 1,500 admissions to hospital in Norfolk and Suffolk over the course of a year were due to drug-related mental illness, new figures revealed.

06:37

Emergency services attended to a house fire in Sea Palling in the early hours of this morning.

Yesterday, 21:28

Just one KFC restaurant in the whole of Norfolk remained open today as the company continues to face chicken shortages.

Most Read

Yesterday, 11:46

Police have confirmed more than 30 cars were vandalised in the North Yarmouth area over the weekend.

Read more
Norfolk Police
Yesterday, 17:11

When Karl Poundall saw how a Great Yarmouth seafront attraction was being blighted by rubbish he decided to take action as an eco-warrior instead of just moaning about the problem.

Read more
Great Yarmouth Borough Council
Yesterday, 19:55

The ice rink that cost Great Yarmouth Borough Council £118,000 was a success by creating a vibrant atmosphere and raising the profile of traders, councillors have agreed.

Read more
Barry Coleman
Yesterday, 21:28

Just one KFC restaurant in the whole of Norfolk remained open today as the company continues to face chicken shortages.

Read more
Sunday, February 18, 2018

Investigations are under way after numerous cars were damaged in a spate of vandalism in Great Yarmouth.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 4°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter