PLANS to form a support service to help youngsters struggling with their mental health - in memory of a 15-year-old who took her own life - will receive its official charity status in the coming months.
Honey Cook was just 15 when she died on February 14, 2021 and her mum, Gemma, wants to raise awareness.
The Darton Academy pupil displayed no alarming signs before she died, and despite being ‘extremely close’ with her daughter, Gemma had no idea of her mental health struggles.
The tragedy spawned the Bee Kind Festival, which took place at Woolley Miners’ Cricket Club on August 7, and its success will result in a charity - Bee Kind For Honey - forming to help others.
Gemma said: “When I lost Honey, I had an overwhelming urge to help as many children as I could.
“I want to stop families going through what we are and will be for the rest of our lives.
“I started auctioning cakes, crowd funding, selling copies of Honey’s prints. as she was a great artist.”
There is now £10,000 in an official charity account which will have its status within the next few months after being inspected by the relevant authorities.
Fifty per cent of this will be spent on suicide prevention, 20 per cent on parent support post-trauma, another 20 per cent on younger sibling support and ten per cent on remembrance and keepsakes for families affected by youth suicide.
Gemma added: “The most important thing we gained through the festival was awareness of what happened to Honey.
“We all worked together to get people talking about mental health, being kind, sign posted children and parents to help.
“If one child has second thoughts about being unkind to another or harming themselves, then all this was worth it.
“Like a lot of people, I was ignorant to the crisis of suicide amongst young people as I have never experienced it before losing Honey but I am determined to have my girl’s memory live on through the kindness of strangers and I hope I can help as many families as I can.”
Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis spoke out in Parliament last month about the town’s children who are gripped by a mental health ‘crisis’, before attending the festival.
According to local leaders, one in six kids in Barnsley are struggling.
In Parliament, Dan spoke out and called for ‘vital’ support to be provided.
He said: “It’s deeply concerning that one in six kids in Barnsley are struggling with their mental health.
“It’s vital that the government steps up support, including by increasing specialist mental health provision in schools so every child in Barnsley can access the help they need.”