'Inspirational' Kettering schoolboy's fundraiser helps Johnny's Happy Place

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Johnny’s Happy Place supports people including those living with mental health issues

A Kettering schoolboy’s project has raised money for people who use a community cafe founded in memory of a man who sadly took his own life.

Beau Walbridge, a pupil at St Andrew’s Primary School, used a month-long task based on compassion and charity work to set up a fundraising page for Johnny’s Happy Place.

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Johnny’s Happy Place (JHP) – named in honour of Johnny Mackay – supports people in the community including those living with mental health issues.

Denise Mackay and Beau Walbridge, 8, at Johnny's Happy Place/Lucy OakleyDenise Mackay and Beau Walbridge, 8, at Johnny's Happy Place/Lucy Oakley
Denise Mackay and Beau Walbridge, 8, at Johnny's Happy Place/Lucy Oakley

Eight-year-old Beau has been diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder and understands that people have ‘sad brains’ – and wanted to help.

His mum Lucy Oakley said: “I knew Johnny from when I was younger. When Beau saw a photo of Johnny he asked who he was, so I explained. Beau is very knowledgeable about these things.

"He didn’t want to bake cakes or whatever, he wanted to raise money for Johnny’s Happy Place.

"He’s got the biggest heart – I’m such a proud mum.”

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Beau and Lucy presented the £350 to Denise Mackay, Johnny’s mum.

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Denise said: “Even though many people think ‘what can I do?’, he actually went ahead and did it. I want to thank all the generous people who supported the page.

"He is inspirational and my heart-felt thanks go out to him.”

Johnny’s Happy Place is hosted at Keystone in Rockingham Road, Kettering, where they run a weekend cafe. They open from 10am to 2pm on Saturdays and 11am to 2pm on Sundays.

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As well as fresh home-cooked food they offer art therapy and counselling services that people can access for free.

Backing the therapy available at Johnny’s Happy Place, Beau added: “If you’ve got a ‘sad brain’ you’ve got to talk to someone.”

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