‘They saved my life’: Northampton teacher to finally tackle Everest for mental health charity

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A teacher from Northampton will finally travel to Everest Base Camp for a mental health charity after three years of delays due to Covid-19.

Hannah Auger, deputy director of the Northampton International Academy, raises money for Mind – a charity ‘dear to her heart’.

Hannah, who has been teaching for 13 years, will take the challenge from October 21 to November 5 and hopes to reach her fundraising goal of £2,500.

Hannah climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2018 and after three years of delay she is finally tackling Everest to raise money for Mind.

She said: “It’s been a long time coming, and inside of me is this call to know that I have to do it – conquer it and prove it to myself.

“Let the adventure finally continue, it’s a dream come true.

“It’s like I can’t rest until it’s done.”

Hannah visited Nepal four years ago and says it’s a “blessing” to be able to come back and climb Everest Base Camp.

Hannah received her police commendation a few months ago after making sure people were safe on school premises during an incident.

She has raised £724 so far and hopes to achieve her goal, which she also achieved in 2018 when she climbed and summited Mount Kilimanjaro for Mind – describing it as the “long overdue next step”.

Hannah has struggled with mental health issues for over 15 years including depression, anxiety, overcoming trauma and PTSD, which is why Mind was an obvious choice for charity.

“The charities and mental health organizations that supported me saved my life,” Hannah said.

“Having access to amazing counselors and therapy has transformed my life.

“We’re slowly removing the stigma around conversations about mental health and emotions, and we’ve come a long way in 10 years.”

Hannah says it would be “breathtaking” if she hit her fundraising goal.

She said: “I’m sure even if I showed up at Mind with a five they would be so grateful – but it would be very powerful to make a significant donation and help them provide life-changing support.”

The vice principal wants the mountains to symbolize “being able to overcome anything”, and she wants to prove that anyone can do it.

“What better way to represent the challenge of overcoming mountains in our minds than trekking up the tallest mountain in the world,” Hannah said.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us, now more than ever, the impact of isolation, fear, worry and stress on our mental well-being.”

Hannah offers “jobs” in exchange for donations – from tutoring to piano lessons, to selling fresh eggs laid by her chickens.

Although no one has taken her to piano lessons yet, the eggs have raised Hannah £50.

She also plans to offer Zumba classes in the near future, and details will be shared on her Just Giving page.

Not only does Hannah raise funds to enable Mind to help others, but she also received a Police Commendation a few months ago from Northamptonshire Police.

After helping to keep people safe on school premises during an incident, her efforts have been rewarded – and she is the only person to receive this commendation from the local police.

To donate to Hannah’s fundraiser, click here.

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