Mandy Rees, from Moseley, is our latest charity champion, having raised more than £3,300 for Birmingham Women’s Hospital, where many of the women she supports through her wellbeing and mentoring business have had their babies. 

Mandy used to be a lawyer, but juggling her legal career with being a mum, left her exhausted and feeling unfulfilled. Thinking about what she really wanted to do with her career – how she could make a difference – she reflected on the post-natal depression she experienced after having her first daughter, Grace, who is now 20. She wished that when she had been going through such a tough time, she had felt confident enough to reach out and ask for help. Ultimately, Mandy wanted to create a safe space for pregnant women and mothers, to make it easier for them to speak up about how they’re feeling, knowing they would be supported.   

That’s how Mother For Life came about – Mandy’s wellbeing and mentoring business, which offers prenatal and postnatal yoga and mentoring in circles for women and mothers. Here, Mandy brings mums together as they navigate pregnancy, birth and motherhood.  

Mandy has been fundraising for Birmingham Women’s Hospital for over three years, where many of the women she mentors have given birth or will be giving birth. Over the years she’s hosted Christmas parties and summer gatherings, and personally taken on several running challenges. At the end of last year, she completed the Great North Run alongside her friend Adele, who Mandy first met when Adele came to her pregnancy yoga group when she was expecting her first child, a girl she named Scarlett. Sadly, Adele experienced a stillbirth and they both ran in Scarlett’s memory. 

More recently, Mandy has just come back from Japan, where she ran the Tokyo Marathon with her husband, Keri, for the Hospital’s Woodland House Appeal – to create a standalone bereavement centre for families who experience pregnancy and baby loss. There, she also gained her Abbott World Marathon Majors Six Star Medal, which is awarded to runners who have completed the six major marathons of London, New York, Berlin, Chicago, Boston and Tokyo. 

Mandy says: “Running didn’t come naturally to me when I first started. It was really hard, but I love being outside and, the fact that it really helps with my mental health, means that I have continued with it. Running with my friends brings me great joy. The fact that I’ve now achieved my Six Star Medal makes me proud of how far I’ve come.  

“Although the marathon was tough, I kept thinking of my daughters, Grace and Neave, the women I mentor and support, and all the families that Woodland House will help. They were the motivation I needed to keep going.”  

Miranda Williams, head of public fundraising at Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, said: “What an inspirational lady Mandy is, not only for the support and guidance she offers the women in her mother circles, but also for going that one step extra and raising money for causes that will benefit them, like our Woodland House Appeal. We’re so grateful for her support year-after-year.”