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Balloons released in memory of popular Istead Rise teenager Elliott Holmes as friends gather at Camer Park to say emotional goodbye

A large group of friends and relatives gathered to say an emotional goodbye to a popular teenager who was tragically found dead last month.

Elliott Holmes, from Istead Rise, Gravesend, took his own life on Wednesday, June 24 aged just 19.

Friends and relatives gather to pay their respects to Elliott Holmes

His death triggered an outpouring of grief on social media as people left messages of support to the family and shared their favourite memories of the teen.

Crowds of mourners met at an event organised by Elliott's friends at Camer Park, Meopham, on Saturday to release balloons and pay their respects.

The organisers sent an open invitation for anyone who wanted to come along and say their goodbyes with those attending asked to wear something blue.

Last month step-dad Peter Scutts, from Gravesend, led tributes to his son who was "popular" and "well loved" by his friends.

He said: "A bright young man, with the world at his feet. We are both heartbroken. Overnight, our world has fallen apart and will never be the same.

Tributes have poured in for 19-year-old Elliott Holmes from Istead Rise, who took his own life last month
Tributes have poured in for 19-year-old Elliott Holmes from Istead Rise, who took his own life last month

"You will be greatly missed every day and will remain forever in our hearts. Rest in Peace, our dearest darling Elliott."

Peter explained how his son, who had recently left Meopham Secondary School, had suffered from mental health problems from a young age.

"It is the silent killer," Peter said. "There wasn't any signs of him taking his life – he was always very happy and smiley.

"All of his friends have said he was the fun person," he said. "He was the one they wanted to be with in a group."

The Gravesend business owner added he was "so, so proud" of Elliott's friends who had been sending messages of support and leaving flowers.

"Our world has fallen apart, but your support is helping to lift us, more than you’ll ever know," he told them.

Dressed in blue, friends and family of Elliott Holmes release balloons at Camer Park in Meopham Picture: Barry Goodwin
Dressed in blue, friends and family of Elliott Holmes release balloons at Camer Park in Meopham Picture: Barry Goodwin

Friends have set up a fundraising page for mental health charity Mind in Elliott's memory to raise awareness for those struggling and has amassed more than £8,000 to date.

Click here to donate to the Mind fundraiser in memory of Elliott.

For confidential support on an emotional issue, call Samaritans on 116 123 at any time.

If you want to talk to someone confidentially, click here.

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