Pals donned Santa suits and braved wind and rain during a run for mental health charity MIND in memory of campaigner Becki Luscombe.
Tragically Becki, from Flitwick, died at the end of September aged just 23. She had been unwell since the age of 12 with chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as ME, and mental health problems.
In recent years she had become passionately involved in causes for equality and disability.
She produced a satirical YouTube video for ME Awareness Week called “Stuff people say to ME sufferers” and started a successful Twitter campaign in 2013, which led to supermarkets withdrawing Halloween ‘mental patient’ costumes from their shelves and issuing apologies.
During her times in hospital she would befriend patients and tweet practical advice to others in similar situations.
Her understanding of mental health was also informed by thorough research and, in June, this led to her being chosen as one of the 10 Voices of MIND.
Her mother Sue said: “She was an eloquent, compassionate and witty ambassador, but feisty when needed, unafraid to challenge MPs at the House of Commons.”
Despite having very little personal income due to her illness, she gave a small monthly donation to Oxfam and Shelter and shortly before her death she had requested that people donate to help the homeless instead of buying her Christmas presents.
On December 7, ten of her former school friends from Redborne Upper School in Ampthill completed a Santa run in London raising more than £2,200 for MIND.
Sue said: “She was just all about helping others and it is just lovely to think that this money can go into efforts to help those suffering from mental illness. It is our only comfort really that people like her old school friends are really wanting to make sure fundraising helps others.”
In a bid to continue Becki’s quest to help others her parents, Sue and Richard will be spending Christmas day helping out at a homeless hostel.
“She has left us quite a legacy in terms of trying to help others,” said Sue. “We will be doing a lot in terms of carrying forward some of the things that she was passionate about.”
Sue and Richard are due to meet with MP Norman Lamb, minister for care and support, to talk about how help for those with mental illnesses could be improved.