Grace saddles up for a Lady Godiva style trip through Ludlow for charity
A mother of one from South Shropshire is preparing to ride her horse through the streets of Ludlow in the nude.
Like the legend of Lady Godiva – whose husband founded a monastery in Much Wenlock – Grace Oakley will take to the streets riding her horse Indigo Sugar Babe, known as Ug, wearing little more than a smile.
The 29-year-old horse riding instructor from near Bridgnorth will not be protesting rising taxes, however, but instead fundraising for PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide, a charity close to her heart.
Having lost her mother Kate at the age of 12 in 2004, Grace said it was important to raise as much money and awareness as possible, particularly considering the additional pressures on mental health due to the pandemic.
"I was only 12 when my mum took her own life," said Grace.
"Nobody knows why she did and I can't change what happened, but I can do my bit to raise money and awareness of this serious and worthy cause."
Grace, who plans to undertake the ride in September, has contacted the police to ensure the event can go ahead.
She said: "People will inevitably whinge and moan, but as of yet I haven't received any nasty comments or negativity, it's all been very positive.
"The police have given me advice and said if I went completely naked I would be arrested – so I'll be wearing nude-coloured underwear and my hair, with tape, will be covering my front.
"People do these kinds of things all the time so I wanted to do something that will really draw people's attention and help give the charity as much publicity as possible."
Ged Flynn, chief executive of PAPYRUS, said: “Tragically Grace and her family have experienced the utter heartache and bewilderment of being bereaved by suicide.
“We would like to say a big thank you to Grace and all those who are supporting her fundraising event which will help us to continue giving hope to young people who are struggling with life.
“Generous donations help to pay for potentially life-saving calls, texts and emails to our HOPELINEUK service, which offers support and advice to young people and anyone who is worried about a young person who may be having thoughts of suicide.
“Funding also helps PAPYRUS to engage with local communities and volunteers in suicide prevention projects and supports the training we deliver to individuals and groups, equipping people with the skills to recognise and respond to suicidal behaviour.
“We believe that many young suicides are preventable and together we can all help to keep our communities suicide-safe.”