A MOTHER has paid loving tribute to her son to help others “open up” about depression.
Last March, Michael Thomas Davies of Willow Court, Acrefair, took his own life, aged 25.
He had battled anxiety and depression.
A year on, a group of Michael’s friends, the ‘Gin o’clock team’ are taking on the Three Peaks challenge in his memory, for Papyrus – the prevention of young suicide charity.
Known to many as ‘Mikey D’ or Mike, Michael was a former pupil of St Paul’s in Isycoed and Ysgol Deiniol, Marchwiel, before studying at the Maelor School in Penley’s Sixth Form.
He went on to gain a degree in estate management at Glyndwr University, also working at Wickes DIY store – where he was known for his helpfulness and cheerful smile.
Michael went on to work for Westford Homes where he developed his construction skills and was a valued member of the team.
In 2015 he started working for WD Stant as a trainee quantity surveyor, where he excelled in this role and was liked and respected by all.
Paying tribute, Julie said: “Mike had a keen interest in music, reading and nature.
“He loved spending time with his friends, weekends away and holidays.
“One of the distinctive things about Mike’s personality was his willingness to help anyone in any way he could and was always the first on the scene to help out in a crisis.
“We as Mike’s family were aware that he had been suffering from anxiety but he often didn’t want to talk about it.
“Mike felt that it was embarrassing for a young man to admit to feeling anxious. “I urge anyone feeling like this to seek help, it’s not embarrassing or anything to be ashamed of, and there are many organisations and charities only too willing to listen.
“There were other factors that contributed to Mike feeling like he did which his family and friends were not aware of at the time, therefore I urge anyone going through difficulties to open up and talk.
“His sisters, Laura and Caitlin miss him so much, and Laura is expecting a little girl in May.
“Mike would have made a wonderful uncle, he loved children and couldn’t wait to have his own.”
She added: “We as Mike’s family are very proud of the ‘Gin o’clock’ team and what they are doing for Papyrus in memory of their loving friend, and we are thankful to everyone who has already donated.
“Losing Mike has left a huge hole in our hearts, we miss him very much, he was a ray of sunshine.”
She said they wished to thank the following for their kind donations and support: Matthew Bird at We Are Gentleman; The Co-operative store, Garden Village; Bloomin Beautiful Florist from Gresford; Heart of the Home kitchen suppliers, Garden Village; the Leader; Wickes; Kellogg’s Wrexham; MBNA Chester; the Beeches, Gresford; Gresford news; Sainsbury’s Wrexham; Voucher Clarity Copiers NW, Travail, PD Injury Clinic; the Maelor School, Penley, and the ENT department, Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
His sister Caitlyn added: “Mike was a loving caring brother.
“Thanks to everyone who has donated so far.”
Michael’s grandmother Joy Adams also paid tribute and urged people to be aware of signs someone might be struggling.
She said: “He was an intelligent, hard-working young man who loved reading and had a natural musical talent, we miss him dearly.
“To anyone that knows someone, whether a neighbour, sibling, cousin, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife, who they know is in an emotional state, please do something about it.
“Please don’t leave them on their own.”
FOUR of Michael’s close friends from his days as a pupil at the Maelor School are taking on the Three Peaks challenge in his memory and to raise money for Papyrus.
As the ‘Gin o’ Clock team’ Lloyd Williams from Bangor-on-Dee, Will Thomas from Johnstown, Tom McCusker from Overton and Ed Roberts from Johnstown, will climb Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon on April 15.
Lloyd said: “Preparations have been pretty good so far and the last few weeks we have managed to go up Snowdon, and Scafell Peak, as well as Moel Famau, so there has been a lot of training.
”We will only get to see Ben Nevis on the day though.”
Ed said so far the group has raised around £1,400 through donations on their Just Giving page alone.
Tom added that the group had been planning the event for the best part of a year.
He said: “It’s just something we thought of doing, having a gin on top of each peak in memory of Mike.”
Will said: “Any support is appreciated, even if it is just sharing links online, it is all for a great cause and a great person.”
Donations can be made to the team’s Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gin-oclock
Their video challenge can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUrvpoh-15Q
The Papyrus website can be found at www.papyrus-uk.org/ and the Helpline number is 0800 068 41 41.