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Helping people in hour of need

The REST foundation has moved to Bond Street.  Pictured L-R are Jade Williamson, Tracey Pellatt, Darren Matthews and Amanda Williamson with grandson Oscar Briggs.

The REST foundation has moved to Bond Street. Pictured L-R are Jade Williamson, Tracey Pellatt, Darren Matthews and Amanda Williamson with grandson Oscar Briggs.

A foundation set up to help the families of suicide victims has unveiled new plans to try to reduce the suicide rate in Blackpool.

Bosses at the R.E.S.T. Foundation say the group has gone from strength to strength in 2013.

The South Shore-based charity was founded by Amanda Williamson in memory of her son Gary, who took his own life in 2012.

Now its Lytham Road drop in centre treats between 15 and 20 families affected by suicide every week, while also providing support for people who find themselves in despair.

Just last month the charity moved into a bigger premises, a move which Amanda says is already reaping results.

She said: “Since we’ve expanded it’s been a lot better, it’s getting more well known now. We’ve had quite good feedback and everything’s progressing because we’re still speaking with the families we’ve treated before.

“A lot of people are struggling because of the benefits cuts and we are taking training courses on benefits so we can help people with their claims. I’ve just done a suicide awareness course and we’ve added two more volunteers lately too.”

Now Amanda hopes to push on and help even more people in the coming year, while working hard to bring down Blackpool’s suicide rate.

She said: “The main aim is to get the suicide rate down and I think we’ll do that by helping people with their benefits, and just by being there for people. I’m hoping that if we get more sponsors we can help towards the funeral costs of sucicide victims too.

“We can’t afford to pay for full funerals but we need to help the children left behind, just to let them know there are still people who care even though the people who did aren’t there any more.”

 
 
 

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