Thousands raised to train barbers in mental health after loss of beloved husband
- Credit: Love family
Money raised by the wife of an Ipswich-born writer, who took his own life, will go towards training barbers in how to spot signs of someone suffering with their mental health.
Darron Love was born and raised in Ipswich, before moving to Wokingham in Berkshire with his wife and two children in 2011, and penned two Annie's Grannies children's books.
The 48-year-old struggled with depression all his adult life and after receiving news that a complicated injury would leave him incapacitated for months or a year, he died by suicide on December 13, 2019.
"It was just two days before our daughter's 16th birthday and two weeks before Christmas," his wife Luci recalled.
"It was like a bomb went off in our lives, it was just awful and sadly it was my son who found him. I was aware of suicide but I didn't fully comprehend the impact it has on the families.
"If you add up all the pain felt by our children, myself, his mother, then it's so much more than he was dealing with alone — and everyone thinks it is their fault or they were to blame, could have done more somehow."
The family were unable to donate Darron's organs as they had wanted, but Luci was keen for something positive to come out of the devastating situation, so decided to begin fundraising.
Having raised £5,000 for the UK Men's Sheds Association, she found the Lions Barber Collective — an international collection of top barbers who have come together to help raise awareness for the prevention of suicide.
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Another £5,000 raised by Luci is funding two BarberTalk Online courses to train members of the industry not to become counsellors, but to recognise, ask, listen and help.
"Darron was such a wonderful and open person, so warm and funny," she added.
"He was quite open about his depression but had a really comfortable life; two great kids, money to travel, and I think that almost made it worse in a way because there was nothing to worry about."
"The work Lions Barber Collective do is phenomenal and it's good to see something a tangible come out of all this pain."
Luci is hoping for hairdressers and barbers in Ipswich to get involved, as Darron regularly visited the town after moving away. To find out more click here.