My heart broke when I lost my child to suicide: Blackpool dad's mission to help fund counselling centre after 'unmeasurable' pain of son's death

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A Blackpool dad who lost his son to suicide on May 4, 2019 is on a tireless mission to improve mental health services in the resort.

Jon Nichol, 57, has felt ‘unmeasurable and unimaginable’ pain since his child’s death, four years ago.

The businessman/builder, from Anchorsholme, says ‘not one day of the last 1461 days has gone by' without thinking of his ‘beautiful, handsome son’, Luke.

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And when Jon reached his ‘lowest point’ of dealing with the bereavement, he found there was no support.

Jon Nichol lost his son to suicide in 2019Jon Nichol lost his son to suicide in 2019
Jon Nichol lost his son to suicide in 2019

He told the Gazette: “I was desperate for help. The doctor had previously given me an emergency number to ring in a crisis, so I called and explained my situation.

“The first lady said she couldn’t help me. I had to explain myself to three people before someone told me ‘I’m really sorry, we don’t deal with suicide’.”

Jon, of Mossom Lane, was given another number but it went to voicemail.

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“I was at such a bad point in my life and I was just hitting brick walls. It seemed that nobody could help. I sat crying in the van, then ran onto the site where my workmates were and yelled ‘if you ever need any help do not ring these numbers’.”

Jon NicholJon Nichol
Jon Nichol
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But then he started cycling, and it gave him a new focus.

“I’d never really been out on a bike before, but someone suggested it to me and I quite enjoyed it. It was the distraction I needed and it just really cleared my head.”

Since then, he’s tirelessly fundraised for local mental health charities. He raised £2,335 towards a new community counselling centre, by co-ordinating a group of 22 friends to do the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride in 2022.

And this year he plans to push it even further – taking 35 riders on the arduous 60 mile trip on Sunday 09 Jul 2023.

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He added: “Riders are all levels of ability. We meet up for training rides, which is good for community spirit and mental health.”

He will be raising money for Counselling in the Community – a charity that providies mental health support to adults and children across the Fylde coast, and Doherty’s Destiny, a local suicide bereavement group.