How a woman created clothes to raise money for Oxford Health | Popgen Tech
WHEN Poppy Hadley lost her sister unexpectedly at the age of 11, she thought nothing would ever be the same.
Now, nine years later, she has launched her own clothing line and raised more than £2,300 for Oxford Health, which helped her recover from anorexia and the trauma of losing a loved one.
Miss Hedley, 20, created the Courage By Clementine line, which includes T-shirts, sweatshirts and baseball caps for children and adults, to raise money for the charity Mind.
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Her life changed when her 13-year-old sister India died unexpectedly in her sleep.
The trauma of her loss took a toll on her mental health and she was a long-term inpatient at Cotswold House, an Oxford health unit that treats adults with eating disorders in Marlborough, Wiltshire.
She said: “I started By Clementine to raise funds and normalize asking others about treatment and mental health.
“There were some nurses at Cotswold House who were literally lifesavers for me and I wanted to give something back.
“In 2013, I lost my older sister, she slipped away in her sleep and I was only 11 years old. It was so horrible and I was faced with a series of diagnoses, I thought I was trapped in this cycle.
“My last admission was very difficult and very traumatic. It was unpleasant and all I wanted to do was leave – I didn’t think staying was what I needed.
“I kept thinking ‘a hospital is no place to live, it’s no home, it’s no place for a girl.’
“So there were good things and bad things after I left, but I think the love and support I got from the staff and my family helped me a lot.
“I’m on a new path that doesn’t involve hospitals and I’m working as a babysitter and in a coffee shop – that’s not to say it’s perfect, but there’s a lot of positives.”
The words “courage” and “opinions not facts” are embroidered on the items of her clothing line.
She said: “This is something that has stuck with me and I try to repeat myself daily, the point of this is that thoughts are not always reality.
“Negative thoughts about myself and what other people think of me are often false and I need to dispel them before I believe them.
“The line celebrates the courage and determination needed to rebuild. We’ve had over 75 orders and it’s really exciting and I’d like to see it grow more and more.”
She has been out of hospital for five months and hopes to study midwifery at Bournemouth University.
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She said: “I want to help people because I have been helped myself. I originally wanted to study fashion because it has always been my passion, but during my time in hospital I realized that I wanted to help people as it took the focus off of me and onto them.
“When I launched the line, the reaction from my family was very positive because I felt like they were starting to see a different Poppy.
“The injury from my last admission was difficult to shake off and I was determined not to return.”
For more information, visit https://couragebyclementine.myshopify.com/
This story was written by Anna Kalivici, who joined the team this year and covers health stories for Oxfordshire newspapers.
Contact her by email: Anna.firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow her on Twitter @AnnaColivicchi