To The Missing People Choir,
Although I am crying my eyes out as I write, I know that it is something I have to do, to encourage you all and to put something back. Your performances on Britain's Got Talent have profoundly touched my life, not least because your beautiful voices captivated the heart of the nation but more personally because you changed my future.
A year ago I was a teacher and although challenged by juggling a busy career with caring for a parent who was ill, I had a very ordinary life with a wonderful partner and home.
Then, things changed. My parent died, I'd lost my job through caring and I became ill myself. I became increasingly unwell and a couple of months ago left my home with the intention of never returning. I had lost all hope. I went to a completely different city over 150 miles away and was declared a missing person.
During this time you offered support to my partner and as I wrestled with my demons becoming more and more detached from life, the police and other agencies were looking for me.
I eventually found the courage to seek help and was taken to the police station. Police across the UK were involved in looking for me, and I was sectioned to hospital that night for my own safety.
The catalyst for my coming home was you. I had heard your choir audition on Britain's Got Talent, and when I had spoken in my despair to someone on the telephone was advised to find a safe person to tell and to give my missing person number to. I did just that and stopped running.
Once home, my partner and I watched you in the semi-final and final of Britain's Got Talent and wept buckets for your loss and your pain and for the gratitude that we felt to you as an organisation. Amanda said if you found just one person it would be like winning; you found me!
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I think the hardest part of this whole experience has been that for my whole professional life I have been on the other side of trauma, in social work and teaching, and had a real passion for people stereotyped by mental ill health. Then, I find myself in a doorway being told to "move on because decent people use this place". It has been so humbling.
As part of my recovery I began to walk with my dog, clocking up miles, as I walked it dawned on me that I could put something back, do something positive to help myself and to stand alongside you all. So I plan to organise my own fundraising event, and hopefully raise some money and awareness for the charity.
I have returned to my first love of songwriting and shall at every opportunity promote awareness in a sensitive and gracious way.
I can never thank you enough for helping me to get back home from such a dark and hopeless place and my prayer is that you will continue to find and reunite people with their loved ones.