ON what would have been his 23rd birthday, a Saddleworth-based foundation named after computing student Andrew Gidney was officially launched on May 18.
Pending registration with the Charity Commission, the foundation aims to raise funds to support local projects that encourage creativity, computing skills and mental wellbeing in young people.
Andrew struggled with depression during his time at university and was in the third year of his studies when he committed suicide in January 2019.
His family made the decision to launch the Andrew Gidney Foundation to provide support to local youths and to benefit other similar projects in the Saddleworth area.
Trustee Rhiannon Thomas said: “Public Mental Health Services to date offer support until a child is 16. After their birthday, youths are seen in their eyes as adults.
“They enter a world of poorly supported services and are forced to cope with major changes in their lives, such as going to University and securing a job, often without the support they need.
“Andrew didn’t have a history of mental illness. Friends and family didn’t realise how depressed he’d become in the short time of three to four months, and it was difficult to tell when it began and why.
“We feel now is the time to start doing good for local youths in his name, to support them to live their lives to the full, and to benefit projects in the area he grew up in, Saddleworth.
“In particular, projects that encourage creativity, computing skills and mental wellbeing in young people, as these were dear to Andrew’s heart.”
A fundraiser has also been set up via JustGiving with all donations pledged to help support the goals of the Andrew Gidney Foundation.
If you would like to find out more about the work they do, or to donate to the cause you can do so at: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/theandrewgidneyfoundation.
If you need to talk to someone or need further support call the Samaritans on 116 123, text SHOUT to 85258 (a text support line), contact your GP and insist on an early appointment
or call 111.