'We can support each other': South Tyneside mum who lost son to suicide to hold fundraiser for new support group
A South Tyneside mum who lost her son to suicide hopes ‘any one who wants to’ will join her at an event to raise money for a new support group.
Nicola Robertson, of Lukes Lane, Hebburn, started the project following the death of son Tyler in July 2020, aged just 22.
The SAFFE initiative, standing for Suicide Affects Family/Friends Everywhere, is set to officially launch with its debut meeting next month.
And in the meantime she hopes to give it as strong a start as possible with a Tyler’s Walk event to make 22 laps of the Luke’s Lane estate – one for each year of Tyler’s life – to raise money for the new venture.
“It’s not just for Tyler,” said Nicola, 42, “anyone can join in if they want to, in memory of anyone they have lost.
"I feel like if I’m doing something for someone else, I will get through it.
"I can’t bring Tyler back, but I can help someone else and we can support each other.”
Tyler’s Walk is due to start at Jordan’s Bar, in Brighton Parade, Hebburn, from 10am tomorrow (Saturday, August 20) and run until the afternoon, with food, drink and a tombola also on offer in between laps.
Proceeds raised will go towards the SAFFE group’s activities, covering the costs of expenses such as room hire, but also therapy and craft sessions, or even gestures such as ‘a card and a bunch of flowers’ for others suffering bereavement.
Reflecting on why she thought the group was needed, Nicola added: “You don’t get the chance to say goodbye [when someone takes their own life] – there’s always questions.
"You expect to lose your grandparents or your parents, but not your children, whether to illness or to suicide.
"It can be easier to talk to someone else who has been in that position.”
*The SAFFE group is due to hold its first official meeting at St Oswald’s Church Hall, in St Oswalds Road, Hebburn, from 6.30 – 8pm on Monday, September 5.
*Visit www.mind.org.uk for further information on mental health issues and how to find support.