The family of a much-loved teenager who tragically took his own life have founded a charity in his memory to ‘help prevent this from happening to anyone else’.
Oscar Phillips, from Great Sutton, died when he was struck by a train at Capenhurst station on January 26 last year, aged just 16.
Now his loved ones have banded together to set up the Oscar Phillips Foundation, which will support youngsters through secondary schools in the Ellesmere Port area.
Oscar’s mum Carmel Giansante said they felt strongly that they needed to take action.
“We want to do all we can to prevent a repeat of what happened to us,” she explained.
“Our goals for the charity are to support our children in their school life, enable them to understand and speak freely about their emotional wellbeing and teach them what sister, brother, keeper means, which is basically to look out for each other.
“If we can make a difference to how our children think, we have saved another life.”
Money raised through the foundation will initially be fed back into Whitby High School – where Oscar was a sixth-form student – and eventually to Ellesmere Port Catholic High School, University Church of England Academy and West Cheshire College.
Carmel hopes they will be able to fund teaching material and teacher training on mindfulness, guest speakers, educational trips and relaxation rooms for students to use to de-stress if needed.
She said: “Although suicide has no age, race or religion, for me I feel this age group needs support.
“It’s the transition from child to adult where we can make a change through education and introducing mindfulness into their lives.”
Liverpool artist Tom Murphy has been commissioned to create a sculpture of Oscar, which will be presented each year as an award to a Whitby High School Year 13 student who has shown compassion and kindness to others.
The sculpture will be unveiled at a ceremony at the school on May 24.
Costs of treatments at Carmel’s Whitby salon Bellezza on Friday (April 29) and Saturday (April 30) will go towards the foundation, and a black tie fundraiser event will be held at the Holiday Inn in Ellesmere Port on June 19 – Father’s Day and Oscar’s birthday, when he would have turned 18.
“This day is important as it highlights the effects of young male suicide,” added Carmel.