A young man who tragically took his life on Sunday (May 14) amid a lack of professional mental health support will be remembered at a charity football match in June.
Gabriel Farmer was just 23 years old.
Devastated friend Jamie Bowen has now organised the match which will take place at Margate’s Hartsdown ground on June 4 and raise money and awareness for a new mental health charity being created by Gabriel’s mum Louise.
The Angel Gabriel charity aim is to help people pay for private healthcare so they get the help and support immediately, when they need it, and not have to wait for weeks to get an appointment.
Gabriel, who lived in Broadstairs, has been remembered by friends for his huge sense of humour and his care for others.
Jamie said: “He had the best sense of humour. He was funny and always put a smile on your face. He will be dearly missed, it is such a loss for all of us.”
Gabriel had struggled with poor mental health and his mum had desperately sought help but Jamie says his friend was left without the professional intervention that may have helped him.
Another family friend said: “He was 23 and had his whole life ahead of him. His mum fought and fought tirelessly to get him the help he needed but it just wasn’t there.
“Something really needs to happen to change this. Words cannot begin to describe the amount of devastation, pain and heartbreak that has been left behind.”
Gabriel was a huge Chelsea fan and family friends are currently making efforts to contact supporters to ask for a clap to be arranged at their match on 28 May during the 23rd minute. A message of support has been posted on twitter by former team captain John Terry.
Jamie said: “Gabe lived with his mum and sister and they were so close. We are now just trying to find a positive that can come out of this and prevent this happening to other people.
“We want a memorial to Gabe and for no-one else to go through what Gabe did and what his mum and sister are.”
The £5 match admission fee (price updated) will be used for the Angel Gabriel charity and any other donations made on the day.
The match will be held on June 4, 2pm gates open, 3pm kick off.
Margate FC has donated the ground free of charge.
A fundraiser to help Gabe’s family with costs has also been launched and raised an incredible £11,735 – way above the £2000 target, in just a couple of days.
Gabriel’s funeral service will take place on June 7, Margate crematorium, at 12.15pm. A wake will be held at The Lanthorne in Broadstairs.
Louise says Gabriel had previously talked about a funeral and his wish was that people wear rainbow colours or pink and she asks that people be casual and comfy.
Sharing the service details, Louise added: “Life will never be the same but I will never be prouder to be a mum to such a beautiful soul. I will miss him forever but at least I had him.”
Gabriel leaves behind mum Lou, sister Lilli, girlfriend Shannon, family and many friends.
Find the fundraiser here
At the end of 2018 the shrinking provision of mental health services in Thanet and east Kent was highlighted by members of a Margate-based support group.
SpeakUp CIC, which offers peer support and advice for people in Thanet and east Kent living with mental health needs, launched a campaign to gain more funding for vital services.
The group said Thanet was not getting enough funding despite having the second highest prevalence in the country of people with mental health needs.
Members hoped their action would help to get more community services, such as day centres, and also highlight the pressures on professional services such as The Beacon in Ramsgate and access to inpatient provision in Canterbury.
The group said The Beacon, at Manston, struggled to cope with demand and GPs were overstretched and underfunded.
This week (May 15-21) is Mental Health Awareness Week
Ask for help
- Call Kent and Medway’s Single Point of Access on 0300 222 0123 (24/7) or text 07860 022819 (8am-10pm)
- Or call the Mental Health Matters team on 0800 107 0160. Free, confidential and open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Thanet Safe Haven on 07850 655877 6pm – 11pm 365 days or email email@example.com. If your usual sources of support are closed Safe Haven in Thanet offers mental health support to Kent residents aged 16+, including healthcare professionals.
- East Kent Mind 0795 060 8827 or visit their website
- Wellbeing line 0203 912 0032 is open Monday – Friday 2pm-5pm and Sunday 6pm-10pm
- SpeakUp CIC peer support in Margate Email: firstname.lastname@example.org