A charity to help those who are grieving has been formed out of the tragic loss of Hannah, aged 23, from Bramhall.
The Hannah Whitley Foundation was set up to keep Hannah’s spirit alive after her passing in December 2017. Hannah was travelling in India when a fatal road incident suddenly and prematurely took her life.
In the months after the accident, her Mum Nicola turned to yoga and meditation as a way to come to terms with the loss and deal with her grief, and it soon became a vital tool for her, and a coping mechanism for getting through day to day life. It was when chatting to her yoga teacher about how expensive yoga classes can be that she had a light bulb moment, and became inspired to do some good in Hannah’s memory by raising enough funds to be able to offer yoga and meditation for free, to those who need it.
“My darling girl has such a special spirit, she was passionate about everyone having a fair and equal chance in life so I know she’d support what we’re doing in her name. At times over the past few months the hours spent on my yoga mat have been my only solace and I want to be able to offer others who can’t afford it this lifeline. You don’t know how powerful yoga can be until you try it, so our aim is to give everyone the opportunity to do just that.”
Hannah’s family and friends have already raised over £15,000 to make their dream for the foundation a reality. A launch event on what would have been Hannah’s 24th birthday was supported by hundreds of people, and weekly donation-only yoga classes are providing regular income. The classes take place on Tuesday evenings at Dance at the Smithy in Bramhall, who give their studio for free, and are taught by John Brown, who also gives his time for free; meaning every donation made goes straight into the foundation to pay for a class for someone else who can’t afford to give.
The trustees plan to reach out to local charities that help people who are suffering a loss, or are suffering from bad mental health for some other reason, and offer free yoga and meditation classes to anybody who is signposted to The Hannah Whitley Foundation from these other organisations.
“Hannah had a unique personality, her vitality, passion and above all love of life was infectious, and it touched everybody who knew her. Her spirit was rare and it will live on through this Foundation”
The Foundation’s next fundraising event is a charity ball for 200 people. The Maitri Ball (Maitri being the Sanskrit word for loving kindness, or the love a mother has for her child) will take place on Friday 14th September at The Hallmark Hotel. The ball is being headline sponsored by Absurd, a Global Digital Agency. Tickets and corporate sponsorship packages are available, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.