A HAMPTON-in-Arden couple whose son took his own life after a seven-year ‘silent battle’ with depression have raised thousands of pounds in his memory and to help others who are suffering.
Evan and Carol Grant set up the Cameron Grant Memorial Trust after their ‘beloved son’ Cameron committed suicide in November last year – just five weeks after his 21st birthday and without anyone knowing he was suffering depression.
The aim of the fund is to raise awareness of suicide and to urge all people suffering in silence to speak up and ask for help. It will also be used to help support young people who are fighting to overcome poor mental health, where possible through outdoor activities like exercise, hill walking and the Duke of Edinburgh Award as the outdoors was a big passion of former George Fentham school pupil Cameron.
“Cameron suffered from depression for seven years before he died, but managed to hide this from us and everyone who knew him,” the couple told The Observer.
“Outwardly he was always smiling and was always the one who was there to cheer everyone else up.
“Mental Health issues can affect anyone and there is no shame in having an illness, physical or mental and seeking help for it.
“We hope that by spreading this message openly and honestly and providing support to young people through the Fund we can help many others in Cameron’s memory.”
Since Cameron’s tragic death Mr and Mrs Grant have been holding a variety of fundraising activities to bolster the war chest.
And their latest fundraiser – a charity night walk from Hampton to Barston and back – saw around 140 friends and supporters turn out, raising £2,500 for the trust.
Speaking after the walk Mr and Mrs Grant said they would like to thank everyone who took part and all those who made it possible and that they are planning another night walk next year around the time of Cameron’s birthday on October 10.
“Our ambition is to demonstrate this approach in our own community, which has been so supportive to us, and then to take it to as many communities as possible local, regionally and, ultimately, nationwide,” they added.
The couple also thanked Co-operative Food in Meriden and Morrisons Solihull who contributed to refreshments and goodie bags which were handed to walkers along the route and at St Swithin’s church hall in Barston.
They also gave thanks to Graham Hollway and InkTree Printers in Birmingham for their support with flyers, letters, maps and waterproof arrows and The White Lion pub in Hampton in Arden for an excellent welcome after the walk.
In addition to their fundraising, Mr and Mrs Grant have also won a grant from the Aviva Community Fund which will be used to train community leaders from Hampton in mental health first aid and suicide awareness.
“We miss Cameron an unbelievable amount and we so wish that he had asked for help,” they added.
To find out more about the trust, the family’s story and how you can help and get involved visit: www.camgrant.org.uk.