A CHARITY fundraiser has run a marathon around his estate to help those hit hardest by coronavirus who may be struggling with their mental health.

Matthew Smith, 25, Great Lumley, near Chester-le-Street, took on the challenge on Friday morning live on Heart Breakfast with Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden.

He signed up to Global’s Make Some Noise Emergency Appeal, which is supporting the charity he and his family set up fifteen years ago.

The If U Care Share Foundation, a suicide prevention and mental health awareness charity, was launched after losing Matthew’s older brother, Daniel, to suicide at the age of 19.

The radio station’s appeal is supporting small charities that are helping those experiencing grief, poverty, domestic abuse, loneliness, illness and mental health problems, as well as carers and care workers.

Jamie and Amanda’s Charity Challengers are walking, running, dancing, cycling, climbing, and canoeing as hard as they can live on Heart Breakfast.

Speaking to the presenters about the charity, Matthew said: “We started If U Care Share, when I say we, it was myself and my family back in 2005, that was kind of where we began.

“We’re a family from County Durham, we live just outside Chester-le-street and the reason why we started it was because our family was devastated, torn apart in 2005.

“It was an Easter Monday,

“I’d gone out shopping with my mum, my dad and my younger brother Ben and we came back later that day just normal.

“I came in, and my mum was screaming upstairs.

“I ended up going upstairs and unfortunately found that my older brother Dan who was 19 at the time had taken his own life.”

The family launched the charity to help prevent another family having the same experience.

Matthew said: “At the time, I was ten and Dan, he was my best mate, he was my older brother, but he was my best mate as well and to have taken away in a way that I even still don’t understand now, I don’t understand why it was done, and really why we started it was we just wanted to get other people talking.”

If U Care Share now reaches some of the most vulnerable people in society, including those at risk of suicide and those who have lost loved ones.

Since the start of the lockdown If U Care Share have seen the demand for their service increase by 275 per cent.

Heart Breakfast’s Amanda Holden told Matthew “I’m sure that your brother Dan is probably immensely proud of you and your family for starting this charity in his name.”