Charity work in memory of tragic Darwen girl

THE family of 21-year-old woman who took her own life because she couldn’t find a job are championing a young people’s suicide prevention charity in her memory.

Despite having 10 GCSEs, three A-levels and a place at South Bank University in London, Antonia Victoria Harrison, known as Vicky, had been suffering from depression and had become frustrated at being out of work.

She died in March 2010 after she took an overdose.

The number of out of work young people has continued to rise, with 10 per cent of 18 to 25-year-olds now claiming job seekers’ allowance in the Blackburn with Darwen area.

In order to prevent other families losing loved ones in similar circumstances, Vicky’s dad Tony, 55, mum Louise, 45, both from Darwen, and cousin Lauren Fogarty, 20, from Blackburn, are organising a walk from Witton Park, Blackburn, to Blackpool Tower to raise awareness for the charity Parents Association the Prevention of Young Suicide, or PAPYRUS.

Vicky’s mum Louise came up with the name Will You...Walk With An Angel? for the fundraiser, which takes place on July 1. Her cousin Lauren came up with idea for the walk and is creating a route.

After just a week more than 20 people have signed up to do the walk to help the family reach their £10,000 goal.

Mr Harrison said: “We had a look at the charity and thought the work it does to help young people was great.

“We have been trying find a way to help other young people who find themselves in the same situation as Vicky and thought this charity was fantastic and wanted to lend our support.

“We need to raise awareness about it so people know where to go to for help in the same way that people know to call 999 if there was an emergency.”

Mr Harrison said that anyone can take part in the walk whether that is the full distance or just a few hundred metres.

He said: “When anybody passes everyone calls them angels.

“People can walk for Vicky but everyone has their own angels that they can walk for.

“Young people are amazing. They are the leaders of the future and we need to give them all the chances and raise awareness about all of the help that is available to them.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/walkwithanangel to make a donation or for more information log on to www.facebook.com/WillYouWalkWithAnAngel.

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