‘We all just wish he was still here.’ Charity gig to be held for teenager who took his own life

Cameron Ray, who took his own life in August

Cameron Ray, who took his own life in August - Credit: Archant

Music artists in Ipswich are holding a second annual charity gig in honour of their friend who sadly took his own life last year.

Cameron Ray's friends lined up a gig in Ipswich in his memory

Cameron Ray's friends lined up a gig in Ipswich in his memory - Credit: Archant

Both a music-lover and a talented aspiring filmmaker, Cameron Ray, from Shotley, died aged just 19 on August 5, 2017.

Cameron lost his struggle with depression weeks before he was set to go to university in Belfast to pursue his dream career as a filmmaker.

Last year his friends clubbed together to a organise a special gig in the music-lover’s memory, held at The Smokehouse in Ipswich.

Now they are keen to do it again with all proceeds from the event going to MIND, a charity that supports people with mental health problems.

Cameron Ray (right) with brother Callum and mum Debra Wheelright

Cameron Ray (right) with brother Callum and mum Debra Wheelright - Credit: Archant


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Hard rock band KULK were at the centre of the event last year, their drummer, Jade Squires, was keen to talk about her friend.

She said: “Cameron was a huge lover of heavy music and art, so following on from our charity gig last year, we have added an art exhibition to the show.

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“We all just wish that he was still here, just to hear his voice. He was a great artist and should be remembered for that.

“We want to continue to make this an annual event that spreads awareness about mental health and to raise more and more money for this amazing charity.”

Matt Kemp performing at The Smokehouse in Ipswich last year Picture: NEIL LONGDIN

Matt Kemp performing at The Smokehouse in Ipswich last year Picture: NEIL LONGDIN - Credit: Archant

Jade and her friends have already raised over £400 for MIND using a memory space page on the charity’s website.

Jade is also keen to use the event to open up the conversation about mental health.

She said: “It will take a lot to decrease stigma with men’s mental health, but it’s definitely improving.

“All that can be done is to encourage men, and anyone else affected, to speak out about their depression and to remind people that mental health also has many physical aspects; therefore it shouldn’t be treated differently in men.

“In Suffolk, perhaps there could more awareness events and teachings from a young age.”

Jade was also keen to talk about the positive impact that music could have on those struggling with their own mental health.

“I think music helps massively,” she said.

“It is an escapism, something to connect with and put creative thought into.

“Gigs and events also allow people to interact and having caring people around you improves mental health.

“Music is an art and it has really helped me, it’s a cathartic experience.”

This year’s gig will take place at the Smokehouse in Ipswich on October 6.

It will feature Jade’s band KULK, alongside artists Tundra, Bad Stone and Lemondaze.

To donate to Cameron’s memory space go to the MIND page.

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