Weʼre raising £5,500 to help support people suffering with depression and anxiety and those contemplating taking their own life.
- Eastbourne, UK
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Hi there, I'm Thomas, I'm 29, from Eastbourne, and on the 14th January 2018 I decided to end my life at Beachy Head.
Let me explain ...
In June 2016 I graduated from university with a degree in business and I secured my dream job at a company in Brighton. I rented a flat to start and fast forward one year I was looking at houses to buy. I was incredibly lucky that my parents had saved for me my entire life so that I would have a deposit and my salary had just increased meaning I could afford a mortgage. I was in a relationship and my girlfriend at the time was also keen to buy, and my life seemed to be going perfectly to script.
This all changed in July 2017 when I was called into my managing directors office to be told I was being let go. My world came crashing down. I was embarrassed, ashamed and in denial. I didn't tell anyone what happened and I began the search for a new job.
Four months and hundreds of job applications later and I was still unemployed and living a lie. I was now suffering with depression and anxiety and my family, friends and girlfriend still had no idea I had lost my job and what I was feeling. I was depleting my savings by the day and making every excuse not to see anyone.
In November 2017 my behaviour and sudden reluctance to consider buying a house pushed my girlfriend away and she left me. At this point I only had enough money to afford two more months rent and my last hope was an interview on the 20th of December. After 3 nail biting weeks I got the news I had dreaded - although it was 'very close' somebody else had been given the job.
At this point I felt like my time was up, I had tried everything and achieved nothing. At the end of January I would run out of money; all the money I had saved and everything my parents had saved for me would be gone and I would have nothing left. I didn't leave my flat for a week, constantly asking why me? How has this happened? and then I made my decision.
It was a Sunday evening and I drove from Brighton to Eastbourne. In the 30 minute drive I thought of nothing, my mind was entirely empty and to this day I can barely remember the drive. I drove past my parents house and stopped outside. The curtains were closed and I could only make out shadows from the telivision but I sat and watched for over an hour. At 9pm I started my car again and in just 20 minutes I was pulling up in a dark space in a secluded area of Beachy Head.
At this point I had made my decision, and I knew what was about to happen. This was not an impulse move but one that had been debated over for weeks in my head. I decided against writing a long note but I left a note on my phone telling my family that I love them.
I left my car and my belongings and walked slowly to the edge of the cliffs.
As I got nearer I began to make out the outline of a man. He was standing on the edge looking down. Before I could even register what was happening I grabbed him from the edge and shouted 'what the hell are you doing!'. He started to cry. And then I started to cry. And then he told me he was there to die. He explained that he had lost his wife to cancer and he had no other family and he couldn't go on any longer. In that moment I thought of my family, the ones I was about to leave behind, and it put everything into perspective. The man asked if I worked at Beachy Head and I explained I was there for the same reason as him. We sat and spoke for hours and realised that we both had so much to live for, and so much to be thankful for.
I felt alive again, and my mind which was once empty was suddenly full of thought. I had put everything into perspective and as I walked back to my car I cried tears of relief that that man was standing in between me and the edge.
After letting the events sink in I drove straight to my parents, and I told them everything. The weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders and I was ready to approach life from a different angle. My parents were as emotional as I, and they just wished I had spoken to them sooner. I decided to stay at their house for a few weeks and four days later I received a call. It was the company I had been interviewed for in December to say they made a mistake rejecting me and wanted to create a new role in the business just for me.
I could not believe how things could change so drastically in a week, not least my mindset and mentality towards life.
Unfortunately others aren't so lucky - in the last week alone 7 bodies have been recovered from Beachy Head, including one individual who travelled from Norway to take his life at the site and these statistics are not unusual.
My experience led me to begin 'Into Perspective', an organisation that aims to make an effective and lasting impact.
Our Work ...
On the front line
Into Perspective aims to help on the front line -
Members of the Into Perspective team will be based at Beachy Head 7 days a week to try and make a difference for those who have already made the decision. Our team is unique in that at some point in the past each individual came to Beachy Head with the intention of ending their life, but each, in different ways managed to put things into perspective and realise that life is worth living. It is these experiences that makes each individual ideally suited to their role on the front line.
Into Perspective will provide a 24 hour online chat service for individuals contemplating taking their life, providing them the opportunity to talk to people who have got through this unimaginably tough experience and come out stronger.
Into Perspective will also educate locally and nationally on the matter of mental health and support. Attempting to encourage people to talk about their mental health and current situation before feeling like it is too late
I thank you for reading, and hope you found this helpful, interesting, inspiring or anything else positive. I would be incredibly grateful for any help you can offer, and pledge to do my absolute best to help others.
Thank you all in advance
Thomas and the team at Into Perspective
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About the fundraiser
Weʼre raising to help people suffering with depression or contemplating suicide at Beachy Head to put everything into perspective and realise that life is worth living
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