A teenager from Farnborough is holding a skate event in memory of his friend, who committed suicide at the end of last year.
Charlie Norton, 19, from Cove, will be holding a competition for skateboarders and BMX riders at Farnborough skate park, Westmead, on Saturday June 14 from 10am onwards.
The event will be in memory of Charlie’s friend, Matthew Tapp, from Frimley, who committed suicide at the age of 22 in December last year.
Matthew was a former student at Farnborough Sixth Form College.
Mr Norton said: “I really wanted to do a skate jam for him. He was a skate boarder, he was always down there.
“He was a lovely guy and I felt it was something I needed to do to give something back and show how much of a community there is around the skate park.
“We will have people coming from lots of different areas like Guildford, Reading and Aldershot.”
Mr Norton has secured support from organisations including Xodus Cycles in North Camp, You Fashion and Crucial BMX Shop in the form of donations of prizes and giveaways.
Matthew’s family are hoping to have a memorial bench – which will be custom made to look like a skateboard – put up in the skate park, and Mr Norton will be raising funds at the event to go towards the design of the bench.
He said: “We recently tried to run a jam in February, however, it rained and we had to move to a car park but we still managed to raise around £1,500 towards his bench.”
The second event has been organised for this month to coincide with Matthew’s birthday, which is on June 17.
Mr Norton also hopes the event will raise awareness of male suicide and will be promoting the charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), which works to prevent male suicide in the UK.
Male suicide accounts for 77% of all suicides in the country and is now the single biggest cause of death in men aged 20–49 in England and Wales.
Mr Norton said if the event proves successful he hopes to run it annually and, in the long term, use any future funds to donate to CALM's cause and maintain Farnborough skate park and Matthew’s bench.