'He felt like he had nowhere to go' - family and friends fundraise for mental health charity after teen's death

Burnham teenager fundraiser
A number of people took on the activity based fundraiser in memory of Ross.

A family have helped to fundraise more than £5,000 for a charity which will support young people who are struggling with mental health problems.

Ross Burland was only 19 years old when he took his own life two years ago.

His family said nobody had any idea how much he was struggling mentally.

Now though they are hoping to prevent other families from experiencing the same thing and have launched a fundraiser to raise awareness of the issue and raise money for charity.

A group of people who knew Ross took on the activity challenge, called ‘Run, Ride, Row, Walk’ on the 12 and 13 June.

It involved a 13-mile run along the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal path, followed by a three-hour cycle ride in Taunton, a seven-mile row and a 10-mile walk around Wimbleball Lake.

It had originally been planned for 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic.

The fundraiser took place over the weekend and raised over £5000.

The money raise through the challenge would be going to a local charity called 'In Charley's Memory', an organisation set up in memory of another young male who had taken his own life, Charley Marks.

Ross' cousin said his death still impacts the family every day but it was important he was remembered and his story was used to highlight the issues young people face in society.

"He felt like he had nowhere to go," said Emily Burland.

"Another boy's mum set up this charity in her son's memory and she has done so well. Charley is remembered and so is Ross."

One of Ross's former teachers also came down to participate in the fundraiser and he said how important it was to highlight charities like 'In Charley's Memory' so people don't feel alone.

Ross' former teacher at college said that it was an "important fundraiser".

"I taught Ross at the college for years and he was a great person," he said.

"I felt like I needed to do something about it because I don't want to be in this position again. There is always somewhere to go and someone to talk to and it is important people know that."

One of Ross' close work colleagues Joe Ashwell spoke about how his friends death would go on to impact people's lives for years to come.

"It is okay to not be okay - there is no point in bottling things up," he said.

"It is tragic and the after effects go on for other people's lifetimes so that is why today is really important."

The fundraiser has currently made £5000 so far but that figure is expected to go much higher.

If you are struggling emotionally and mentally you can contact Samaritans to talk to someone.

Ways to contact Samaritans:

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