The older sister of a St Annes teenager who jumped to his death from the roof of a Blackpool car park has scaled three of England’s most difficult peaks in his memory.
Holly during her Three Peaks challenge
Holly Ireland, 25, completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge last month in memory of her 17-year-old brother Marshall Metcalfe, who died on May 7 last year, and her mum Jane, who also tragically took her own life a month later.
She said: “It was emotional, difficult and challenging, but so rewarding. On the summit we raised a flag with so many faces of people who lost their lives to suicide. I did it for my mum and brother, but for everyone else as well.”
Holly, who lives in Burnley, raised more than £1,000 for Get Fit 4 Mental Wellness, a charity which promotes mental and physical health.
Climbers raised a flag in memory of loved ones lost to suicide
She was joined in her 24 mile journey along the slopes of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough by 11 other people whose lives have been affected by depression and suicide.
“I want people to know this is just the beginning,” she said. “This is just the first step of many. I want to make changes. The current mental health system is still failing so many people and families.”
Holly’s brother Marshall suffered catastrophic head injuries after falling from the top of Sainsburys on Talbot Road on May 7. He was taken to Royal Preston Hospital, but was pronounced dead when he arrived.
Just one month later, his mum Jane Ireland, 44, was also found dead at her Heeley Road home in St Annes.
Jane Ireland, second from left, with her children Holly, Macy and Marshall Metcalfe
Holly previously told The Gazette how she had struggled for years to get her mum and brother the help they desperately needed. Marshall, a former Lytham High School pupil, had been in and out of hospital several times since 2017 and was discharged from The Cove, a specialist inpatient unit for mentally ill teenagers, shortly before his death.
“I want to do what I can to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and get people talking about it, because it’s real and affects so many,” said Holly, who now hopes to complete the national Three Peaks Challenge comprising Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in memory of her brother and mum.
“I think Marshall would be proud of us. They both would be. ”