THE anniversary of the death of a young Barry man has marked the first steps towards starting a Suicide Support Centre in the town.

Gobaith Am Barri remembered 21-year-old Samuel Uphill by opening the doors of its premises in Holton Road on January 8.

The Coach House is the new home of the vital facility.

The Suicide Support Centre Campaign was started by Rachel Degaetano whose 21- year-old son Chae took his own life in April 2015.

She needs to hit a target of £85,000 to start the service that she is personally, and painfully, aware is much-needed

Gobaith Am Barri’s new premises is the next phase in the journey and the opening marked Samuel’s death and all the other young people who have taken their own lives in the town within the last few years.

Ms Degaetano said: “In March and April of 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, and three local girls, 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 it’s ok not to be ok.”

Samuel, known as Sammy, was the much-loved son of Samantha and Christian and brother of Gemma and Jordan.

Gemma said: “Sammy was more than our little brother, he was our best friend. He was an integral part of all of our lives. Even when he was being a total goon. Perhaps that’s why he didn’t open up as much about his feelings, because he’d taken on the role of being “the funny one”. He was selfless, and kind and so loving. He didn’t want to burden anyone.

There is a huge void in our lives without him, but his influence lives on through his nieces and nephews. And his friends have been a huge support and source of comfort because they were his family too. We can’t allow his passing to be in vain. The setting up of Gobaith gives us all something to focus on and give help and hope to others.”

Ms Degaetano added: “We were too late for our children. Please support us to support the young adults of our community. We intend to do all that we can to help save lives and ensure another family doesn’t have to endure the devastation that losing a loved one to suicide causes.

Call 07770 847190 with any offers of help.

Or to donate direct, use the Gobaith Am Barri official bank account anytime.

The sort code is 30-90-89 and the account number is 37688168.