Building secured in bid to create mental health sanctuary in memory of Elliot Taylor, 24, who jumped from Blackpool car park
A Blackpool mum whose beloved son died aged just 24 after jumping from the roof of a town centre car park is one step closer to achieving her dream of setting up a sanctuary to improve the mental health of other struggling young men.
Following a year of vigorous fund-raising, which included a Three Peaks challenge, Catherine Taylor and North Shore-based mental health charity Empowerment have secured a building for the creation of 'Elliot's Place'.
The project is named after Catherine's son, Elliot Taylor, who who jumped to his death from a Blackpool town centre car park on September 14 last year after suffering for weeks from anxiety and painful cluster headaches.
Catherine, of Squire's Gate Lane, South Shore, said: "Elliot is the reason why we are doing this. It's to support young men in Blackpool, without them having to go through long waits for services. This is a place where people can go and they can be supported and get help.
"Elliot struggled to get the support that he needed without having to go through a long referral process. It was not having that support immediately that was the problem. Whereas this is for young men, local to Blackpool, who can come at any time without having to go through the system and wait, as it is, to have a referral put through."
READ: 'He had so much to give': Heartbroken mum of Elliot Taylor speaks out after tragic car park fallCatherine secured a space for 'Elliot's Place' in the gardens of the Empowerment headquarters, Bispham Road, North Shore, with a view to completing the project by summer 2022.
Fund-raising for it began in October last year, with a four day hike organised by Elliot's friends bringing in £4,000 from a goal of just £2,000. Since then, £25,000 has been raised in total, and it is hoped that Elliot's Place will be completed and opened this September.
But this can only happen if the charity is able to find a generous contractor who is willing to supply them with the materials they need to spruce up the grounds before 40ft portable building is installed.
Catherine said: "Everything's moving forward leaps and bounds. So it is vital at this last part to get the support we need to get it up and running. The building can be safely put in place and it's there and ready to be used as a support group. We don't want to call it another service - it's for the young men there and their peers to decide what they want it to be."
Empowerment manager Linzi Cason said: "With the money secured through all of this fundraising, the steering group have now agreed on the building which will be a 40ft container conversion from S. Jones Containers.
"We are now appealing to our community in Blackpool to help us get the space ready for the installation in September. As you can see from the photo our ‘sanctuary’ space is in need of some much needed TLC and anyone that can donate the time and materials to get the ground suitable for the building would be contributing to Elliot’s Place project and helping those young men in our community that need our help."