A young woman from Lyme Regis is drawing on the strength and courage of her father to undertake a personal challenge in his memory.

Louise Powell, 21, has pledged to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in September - and raise thousands of pounds for mental health charity MIND in the process.

Louise’s dad Derek committed suicide last year, while Louise was away travelling in Asia.

The trip to climb Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, was something they had discussed doing together.

Louise aims to raise £3,500 for MIND, and is well on her way, having already secured more than £1,500.

She said: “While I was travelling, we talked on the phone and said it was something we would do when I got home.

“I had been away for three months when he went missing. I had to fly home. I thought he would come back but he was found. It was obviously really difficult.”

She added: “We were always really close, but I was very aware from a young age that he had mental health problems. He wasn’t getting the help he needed due to lack of funding.”

Louise, who is studying social work at Southampton Solent University, chose MIND because they help adults and children, and it is an organisation often mentioned on her course as helping a lot of people.

She said that the challenge is just as much about raising awareness of mental health issues as it is about raising money. In England,one in six people report experiencing a common mental health problem, such as anxiety and depression, in any given week.

Friends, family and the Lyme community have been ‘so generous’ with their support so far, she added, and her mum is even having her head shaved at an event at the Royal Standard pub to encourage more donations. There will also be entertainment at the event, which takes place from 9pm on Saturday, April 7.

Louise also hopes the challenge will help something positive come out of her dad’s death.

“I feel good about it,” she said. “It’s pretty scary, but my dad always said ‘mind over matter’. He would be really proud of me, without a doubt.”