An energetic Barry woman is the latest local to host a fundraiser to help the Gobaith ambition to set up a Suicide Support Centre in our town.
Vicky Gee has completely organised the sponsored walk up the iconic Pen Y Fan mountain in the Brecon Beacons on Sunday June 10th at 11am. The determined campaigner has even sorted out some very funky, but very powerful, #itsoknottobeok T Shirts to wear on the day too.
The event, open to all, is part of the massive Fund Raiser set up by Rachel Degaetano, following the death of eleven of Barry’s young men to suicide in recent years, including her own son Chae.
Rachel said: “In March and April 0f 2014, I lost two good male friends to suicide, in March 2015 another young lad took his life and my son died in April 2015. Since Chae’s death, another seven young local lads have taken their lives – the latest being Samuel Uphill in January 2018, who like my boy will be Forever 21.”
That, for me signalled enough. Something has to be done. We need to support our vulnerable young adults. There are not enough resources, they have nowhere to go, they don’t know how to control their feelings, or even what to do with them. It’s time that changed. They need to know #itsoknottobeok.”
Vicky, who has supported Gobaith (Barri) from day one, explained: “We are raising funds in the hope that the money we make will help to ensure there is a safe place for young people to go talk if they need to. When someone you love dies by suicide, there is no support for those that are left behind. We want to raise awareness of mental health issues and hopefully help towards providing a safe haven for our young people to come.”
She added; “The Jacob Abraham Foundation (JAF) who Gobaith (Barri) are working with, provides such a place in Cardiff and our aim is to get a place in the Vale.And then continue to raise money to try and have somewhere in each town across the country.”
Over 30 locals will trek up Pen Y Fan this Sunday, including some of the families torn apart by the suicide of a loved one that has also shaken our Barry community.
The Walk, is just one of many events being planned over the next year to complement the numerous grant applications being filled in to find the funds to set up the Centre.
These include a Fun Run, Quiz Night, Summer BBQ, Skydive and Coffee Mornings.
Rachel added: “We want as many people as possible to get involved. We want your help, we want your events, we want your ideas, but most of all we want your support.
Special thanks Vicky for kicking off the very first Fund Raiser, see you there!”
#itsoknottook is all about having the courage to stand up and say ‘enough is enough, the strength to keep fighting for our vital Suicide Support Centre, the swagger to celebrate the successes all along the way, and that faith that our community will make a difference for the young people in our town.
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Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
One of Wales Arts Review 100 Women Writers of Wales, the dedicated community supporter, passionate arts lover, and award-winning queer activist, will keep you “informed, entertained and inspired.”
Mrs SVJ, Barry’s Boldest Blogger, can be contacted here.