Leavenheath cricketers helped to turn a tragedy into a positive fundraising event at the weekend, raising £4,000 for a suicide prevention charity.
The village’s cricket club played host to a charity match at the Leavenheath green for the second year running, in memory of former club player Richard Wade.
Richard, a PhD holder and published writer, took his own life in May 2015 at the Linden Centre in Essex, a facility which is now under police investigation after he became the seventh patient to commit suicide while in the centre’s care since 2000.
About 100 players and spectators joined together on Saturday afternoon to support the Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm), which is dedicated to preventing male suicide.
Linda Wade, Richard’s mother, said: “Richard was a very bright intellectual. He was a lovely young man and he had a bright future ahead of him.
“It was awful. He wanted help and didn’t get it from the trust. We lost him just over two years ago in very tragic circumstances.
“We thought if we can save just one life, that means another family doesn’t have to go through what we went through.
“It (suicide) is the biggest killer in our society for young people. Men in particular don’t open up as much as women. The figures are probably even higher than what’s being reported.”
Mrs Wade said the event went very well and thanked people for their generosity.
The match itself was played between members of Leavenheath Cricket Club and the Richard Wade Select XI, comprised of family and friends.
The event also featured an auction of goods donated by a number of local businesses, with prizes including tickets to a professional game at Lords Cricket Ground later this year.
In total, approximately £2,000 has been donated to the cause via donations, which has now been match-funded by local banks.
You can still donate to the cause by going to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rwade. For further information about the Calm charity, go to www.thecalmzone.net.