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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Heartbroken Cumbrian mum issues warning after death of son

A Workington mother wants to warn schoolchildren of the perils of drugs so the sudden death of her son is not in vain.

barbaracharnley 2401
FACING THE FUTURE: Barbara Charnley, the mother of Matthew Holliday who died last month, contemplates at Workington Pier how to help other young people

Matthew Scott Holliday’s long struggle with psychosis and addiction came to an end last month, although not in the way his heartbroken family had hoped.

The 31-year-old’s body was found by a member of the public on the beach at Flimby three days after he went missing.

His grief-stricken mother Barbara Charnley, 51, of Main Road, High Harrington, is now determined to do all in her power to help people fight addiction and mental health problems.

She said she was prepared to visit schools to tell her son’s tragic story, and to speak to drug-users and their families.

Barbara said: “This is an open house and if anyone wants to talk to me they are more than welcome. If I can save just one person from going the way Matthew went then I will do so.

“When I had them play The Drugs Don’t Work by The Verve at Matthew’s funeral it was my way of getting the message across.

“If I can do anything for anybody I will. I can tell them where to go for help. I know what it’s like.

“Some families must be going through this right now.”

Her pledge came nearly a month after the death of her son.

Barbara, who works in an acute psychiatric unit, stressed that she was not a professional or psychiatrist but for many years she had tried to help her son overcome his addiction.

She took him to a monastery in Italy to help him get clean and make a fresh start.

She was also confronted many times by drug dealers looking for her son.

Her husband Chris, 63, believes that the best way to get across an anti-drug message may be to visit local schools.

He said: “It is important to enlighten children before they reach senior school where peer pressure begins.”

Barbara believes that Matthew’s realisation of what he had put his family through may have proved too much for him.

She said she realised the sincerity of his remorse when she received an unexpected Christmas gift.

She said: “He made an extra special effort, and it makes me wonder if he was saying his final goodbye.”

Chris added: “When he was coming back to reality he would have his head in his hands and say ‘what have I done all these years?’.

“We thought things were getting better. There was a mountain for him to climb and he had to get to base camp, but he didn’t quite get there.”

Matthew, who was a well known local DJ and fisherman, was last seen by his family on Boxing Day when he told them he was going for a walk.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

An inquest into the death has been opened and adjourned.

Have your say

this realy touched my heart reading this what a wonderful loveing caring mother. bless you xx

Posted by julie b on 7 February 2014 at 13:36

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