Funeral fundraiser launched following tragic death of ‘unforgettable character’ Toby Barrowcliff

Toby in his 'happy place' behind the bar at The Albion Rooms

The family of a young man who sadly lost his life after struggling with mental health issues say they have been ‘overwhelmed’ by support from the community.

Former Thanet resident Toby Barrowcliff died on Friday (August 11) aged just 26.

Toby, who was engaged to Lucy Fruin and was step-dad to Miley, was part of a large family with four sisters and two brothers -Lucy, Chelsea, Jack, Elle, Amelia and Josh.

He was born in Canterbury but then moved to the North with his dad Rob. Some seven years ago he moved back to Kent to be closer to his siblings.

Toby, sister Elle and dad Rob

Toby was a familiar face in Thanet, working at The Albion Rooms, owned by The Libertines, in Cliftonville, as well as Gallegos, the Allenby Late Shop and De Flame Ramsgate. He was regularly seen enjoying the sun at the harbour in Ramsgate and has been remembered as the ‘life and soul of the party’ and a man who loved family and doted on his nieces and nephews.

Two years ago Toby moved to Herne Bay to live with fiancé Lucy and stepdaughter Miley. He worked at Thirty Nine in Whitstable and more recently at The Pier Ceylon in Herne Bay.

Toby with Lucy and Miley

A family statement says: “Anyone who met Toby would remember him, he was a character – always having a laugh and being there for everyone. He loved his family more than anything, and doted on his 11 nieces and nephews.

“Sadly Toby did suffer with his mental health. He attempted to get help and was always given medication. We don’t believe this is what he needed.

“Unfortunately, you hear of too many doctors pushing prescriptions at people instead of them getting the help they really need. Men’s mental health is not spoken about enough and unfortunately again the number of male suicides is high, we wish there was more that could be done.”

Close family friend Sarah Robinson has created a fundraising page to help the family with funeral costs.

On the page she says: “Toby made an impact on everyone he met, he was an unforgettable character to say the very least. Toby was always the life and soul of the party, always there for you if you needed a rant, a shoulder to cry on, or especially if you needed someone to help you drink the shots.”

She added: “Toby leaves behind a young family and everyone wants to give him the send off he deserves so any contribution towards his funeral costs would be greatly appreciated.”

Toby’s family said: “Our family is overwhelmed by the messages of love, support, and donations so far and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone.”

Find the fundraising page here

Suicide is the number one cause of death of men under the age of 50 with around three quarters of deaths from suicides each year being men. The Samaritans answer a call for help every 10 seconds but accessing professional services can be difficult.

Ask for help

Call Kent and Medway Mental Health Crisis Line on 0800 783 9111 which is available 24/7

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 protected]. 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: [email protected]


  1. Yet another tragedy and unnecessary loss of life due to downgrading of mental health services across the country. Since Thatcher closed down the large mental health hospitals with the loss of thousands of beds those with mental illness Eva prehave virtually no access to an hospital bed so they can be treated correctly. Now it’s a case of trying to get a GPs appointment who will give out antidepressants “ see how you get on with these”
    If in the meantime the patient mental health deteriorates and they take their own life, then as far as this Conservative government is concerned it’s one more off the waiting list. R.I.P.

    • I could not agree more-I lost my eldest nephew in 2010 took his own life only 24-and only last august my youngest niece took her life.

    • Phyllis – this absolutely is the time and place, as these are the facts. A lovely man who could very possibly have had his life saved, had the appropriate mental health services been in place. Condolences to his loved ones

  2. All the woes and problems are laid at the feet of the Conservative Government.

    The sooner we have a Labour Government the better . . .

    . . . all the woes and problems can be laid at its feet instead.

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