MORE than £1,450 has been raised for a suicide prevention charity at two tattoo events in memory of an Isle of Wight man who took his own life.

The events were organised by Dawn Thistlewood in memory of her son, Sam Pritchard, whose body was found at Gurnard beach earlier this year.

He had battled crippling anxiety and depression, and was just 30 when he died.

Read more: Mother pays tribute to 'beautiful, caring' son who took his own life

Dawn joined forces with Tainted Skin Tattoos, in Cowes, to organise two charity tattoo events for the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).

Studio owner and tattooist Katie Walmsley gave people specially-designed heart-shaped tattoos — a universally recognisable symbol of mental health awareness — in Sam's memory.

Customers paid £30, with a portion of the proceeds going to CALM.

Dawn said: “We were overwhelmed by the response we received. I was only expecting £300, so to raise £1,450 was absolutely amazing.

“Even my parents, aged 84 and 83, got tattoos."

Dawn, from Cowes, said: "If one person stops me to ask about my tattoo, and it makes them realise that they aren’t alone, then it was worth it.

"That’s how I’ll know Sam is still out there in some way.

“Sam was, and still remains, the most perfect, beautiful, wonderful young man who simply cared too much.

"He was a sensitive soul who gave himself freely without expecting anything in return.

"I want people to be aware that this could happen to anyone.”

“We must raise awareness of mental health problems and especially young male suicide. We can’t push this under the carpet. We can’t close services as the Isle of Wight Council is doing. I won’t stop talking about this.”

Next March, Dawn plans to hold another fundraiser to commemorate Sam’s birthday.

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