THE legacy of a teenager who died earlier this year is helping families who are struggling with mental health difficulties.
More than 200 families benefitted from an event held in memory of Emily Moore at Durham Cricket’s Emirates Riverside, in Chester-le-Street.
The event, delivered by Rollercoaster Parent Support Group and supported by Durham Cricket Foundation, invited families from the Rollercoaster Group to attend and make their own wellbeing boxes as Emily’s gift to them.
Families could browse stalls and choose their favourite items to take home and use to help them look after their wellbeing during the coronavirus crisis.
The day was made possible with funds raised in memory of Emily, from Shildon, who died in February at Lanchester Road Hospital, near Durham, having suffered mental health problems.
Enquiries into her death is ongoing but it is believed the 18-year-old took her own life.
Shildon teenager dies at Lanchester Road Hospital
Emily’s parents David and Susan opened Emily’s Gift Shop.
Mr Moore said: “It’s great to have this event in the name of Emily and even if just one of these boxes helps somebody, then it’s done wonders.
“The idea was that when children and families have a bit of trouble, they turn to the box trying to distract themselves and if it helps, and I’m sure it will, it’s worth what Emily raised.”
Mrs Moore said: “A lot of the things that we had in the shop are things that Emily had and used to love. She would have loved one of these boxes. She would have gone round picking everything up saying “I’ll have one of these”.”
Rollercoaster support project was set up to provide peer-to-peer support to parents and carers of young children and adults who are experiencing mental health struggles.
When their daughter was going through a rough time, the couple turned to the Rollercoaster so asked for donations to be made to it in lieu of flowers at Emily’s funeral.
Mr Moore said: “The event is to bring awareness to mental health and kids and families who are suffering. Families have it hard – we certainly did. And the Rollercoaster group was a big support to us, so we want to bring awareness to their work too.”
Wendy Minhinnett, who set up Rollercoaster, said: “When Susan and David chose Rollercoaster for funding to be raised, I wanted to do something special and something that’s meaningful.
“I put a few ideas to the family for them to pick – they went with this one and I am absolutely delighted that we’re here on this day.
“This is a legacy and a memory of Emily because some of the stuff in those boxes people will have and use for a long time.”
Taking about the impact of the coronavirus crisis on mental health, Ms Minhinnett said: “We’ve been running weekly online support sessions and we’ve seen people are really, really struggling at this time and I’ve seen in the past few weeks people struggling more because they’ve been holding it together for so long.
“So if something like this can help, then we’ve done our job and we’d be very proud of it all.”
Durham Cricket Foundation has supported Rollercoaster for a number of years with health and social messaging entrenched within the traditional game of cricket.
The Foundation worked with Rollercoaster to help organise the event and provide the venue.