A KNUTSFORD mother is hitting the streets with her son in a bid to raise money for a children's mental health charity.

Gemma Thornley said she was inspired to do something different after seeing just how easy it is to struggle during lockdown as well as wanting to give son Josh a boost and something to feel proud about.

The pair are aiming to walk 50 miles in 30 days for Anxious Minds, a charity that provides much-needed counselling services to support children struggling with mental health, alcohol and self-harm.

She said: "During lockdown we have done so many different things to try and keep positive.

"These times are a struggle for so many people on so many different levels.

"We were doing pretty well in keeping spirits high, having fun and keeping a happy mind.

"As time has got on, it’s become harder and last week things have come to a head. It has been one of the hardest weeks for me as a mother.

"To hear my son cry the way he has, lash out and say some heartbreaking things have truly been devastating for me.

"What makes it even harder is I didn’t see it coming.

"I thought he was coping and I kind of overlooked just how much his young self has actually had to deal with.

"For an adult, some days have been a massive challenge to get through, never mind an only child, the best years of their lives being put on hold.

"To sit in a house with his mum and dad and not see friends and family.

"Expected to get up every day to sit alone in his room and do five hour long lessons at a computer.

"It’s no surprise we have been on such an emotional rollercoaster."

Knutsford Guardian: Gemma Thornley and her son Josh who plan to walk 50 miles in 30 days.

Gemma and Josh completed their first walk on Saturday.

The idea to do the walk came after Gemma became inspired to try and do something different and keep them busy and occupied while the lockdown restrictions remain in place.

"Whilst games, movies and zoom have all been great fun, we needed something different," she said.

"We are doing this to keep us focused, give us something to aim for and keep our minds healthy all whilst trying to raise some money for a deserving charity that does such important work for children who need it.

"Josh needs the boost and something to make him feel proud and I think this is a perfect opportunity to do just that.

"Secondly I thought whilst we do something good for us we would try to do something to help others.

"We have chosen this charity ‘Anxious Minds’ as now more than ever mental health is important.

"Sometimes we don’t even see it, I’m so upset that I missed just how much Josh was suffering.

"I would say Josh is lucky as he has so much support in family to help him get through these challenging times.

"Unfortunately there are so many vulnerable children out there who don’t have that support and that’s were Anxious Minds come in."

Anyone wishing to donate to Gemma and Josh's good cause can do so by visiting their Just Giving page.