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Family Fun Day supports suicide charity in memory of Bryn Cowen

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: August 27, 2014

  • Samia Jallow, aged 4, from Leek.

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AN event to raise money for a charity working to help prevent young people from taking their own lives has raised £250.

Alicia Jallow, aged 28, from Challinor Avenue in Leek, raised just over £250 from a fun day she organised in aid of PAPYRUS – an organisation dedicated to preventing suicide among the young.

She organised the event at All Saints Community Centre in Compton Road, Leek, in memory of her brother Bryn Cowen, who killed himself, aged 22, on August 6, 2005.

But while Alicia is focused on supporting other families, she admits she will never know why her brother, who had worked as a bar manager at the Three Horseshoes pub in Blackshaw Moor, committed suicide.

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Alicia said her brother, a former Leek High School pupil, had even bought her a ticket to go with him to see the Stereophonics later in the year.

She said: "It came as such a shock as we had plans for the end of the year.

"He was popular, bubbly and really outgoing."

Alicia said that she found out about PAPYRUS when she was researching suicide charities because she wanted to do something to help other people in memory of Bryn.

She added: "Before Bryn committed suicide no one knew anything was wrong with him.

"I saw him before and he was his usual smiley, happy self.

"We didn't know what was going on inside.

"Families have so much to deal with in these situations.

"I don't think I will get over it and I have never been given any answers as to why he did it. It baffled us all.

"He was always there for us to confide in but he didn't come to us for help.

"What really upsets me is the fact that he never got to meet my little girl, his four-year-old niece, Samia."

Alicia and her sister Heather Cowen were aged just 19 and 18 when they unexpectedly lost their brother.

Their mum, 54-year-old Coral Cowen, who helped to organise the charity day, said: "I'm so proud of my children because it has been very difficult for them.

"They have turned something terrible into a reason to raise money for charity.

"It hasn't got any easier and I don't think it ever will."

Alicia's 72-year-old father, Jim Cowen, who lives in Leek, said: "I miss him terribly. I'm so proud of my daughters and my granddaughter for raising money for charity in his memory.

"It doesn't ever get better after losing a child that way."

Each year in the UK over 1,600 young people take their own lives.

PAPYRUS offers free and practical advice to those feeling suicidal and those worried about a young person they know. The charity runs a national helpline HOPELineUK, alongside text and email services.

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