Families of men who took their own lives organise night to raise cash and awareness

A charity night for Mind in Furness is being held at The Nautical on Walney in memory of Lee Sweeting and Sam Birkby.

Lee was just 34-years-old when he died on New Year’s Eve in 2019, and Sam was just 24 when he was found dead in April 2019.

Among the organisers of the charity event are Lee’s aunt Ashley Carswell and Tracy Tickle, Lee’s mum.

“I lost my son nearly four years ago now to suicide,” said Tracy, who this year walked the Coniston to Barrow to raise money for Mind in Furness in his memory.

“The event is just to raise awareness for people with mental health issues and to try and help other people.”

The event has proven popular with local businesses, with a plethora of prizes on offer through the raffle.

Ashley said: “We’ve had really good support from local businesses. As soon as people have heard about it they have come forward and asked if they can donate.”

She hopes that the event will make a difference by not only raising money – but by raising awareness too.

She said: “Suicide is now one of the main causes of death for men under a certain age now, so it’s a big thing that we want to promote.

“And not only do we want to raise money for Mind in Furness, we also want to raise awareness of the work that they do and the type of support people can get.

“If it just stops one family going through what we’ve gone through then surely it’s a good thing. It’s not something that ever goes away, it’s a constant thing that’s there.

“There are so many people that you speak to who have either lost someone to suicide or they know someone who has lost someone.”

Lots of entertainment will be on offer at the event from live music from Elysium, to a disco, stand-up bingo, a raffle and for the bigger prizes, there may also be the chance to bid at auction.

Tracy joked: “We’ve got so many prizes it’ll probably take all night just to do that.”

Raffle tickets can be bought even by those who are not attending the event.

Tickets to the event cost £2 and can be purchased by contacting Ashley on 07498327256 or Tracy on 07878114562.

Visit the event’s Facebook page at: https://tinyurl.com/bdhb6f4y

If you need help, you can call The Samaritans free 24-hour helpline on 116 123; Mind in Furness on 01229 827094; Ulverston Mind on 01229 581578; and South Lakeland Mind on 01539 740591.

For those affected by suicide, you can contact the SOBS support group www. uksobs.org or call 0300 111 5065; for children affected by suicide the Child Bereavement UK helpline is 0800 02 888 40.

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