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Maidstone family pay tribute to Tommy Thwaites who died suddenly

A family have vowed to improve mental health services after their ‘Tommy Boy’ tragically died.

Tommy Thwaites, from Maidstone, took his own life on Saturday, November 16 after battling his demons for four years.

Tommy Thwaites sadly passed away at the weekend
Tommy Thwaites sadly passed away at the weekend

The 25-year-old had dreamed of working on a cruise ship but after he was stabbed in a nightclub in 2015 his mental health began to deteriorate.

The former Valley Park pupil had been prescribed medication, but his family also wanted him to have counselling and more help.

Cousin Shelbey Thwaites, said he should have had more help.

The 24-year-old said: “Tommy was so outgoing and a party animal. He was loud and you would always hear him before your saw him.

“He was a very proud gay man, after the attack he had a scar across his nose and it affected his mental health but he didn’t get enough help - offering an hour a week counselling session wasn’t enough.

Tommy Thwaites with some of his family
Tommy Thwaites with some of his family

“The doctors really let him down, the mental health services need to listen to these people, if they had done that Tommy would still be here.

“Everyone loved Tommy, he was very loved but he just couldn’t see it.”

With the dream of being an entertainer, Tommy had visited Ibiza last year and had booked to go back in 2020, a holiday he will never see.

The mum-of-one added: “He wanted to go to Ibiza in 2016 but he didn’t because of his mental health. He booked to go next year but he won’t get to go now.

“The people who stabbed him, they got to walk free and in my opinion they murdered him.

Tommy Thwaites
Tommy Thwaites

“I think that hurt him because there was no justice.”

An online fundraising campaign has been set up in Tommy’s memory by Mrs Thwaites and Tommy's other cousin, Teah, to help towards the cost of his funeral, entitled Tommy’s Colourful Farewell, it is hoping to raise £4,000.

Mrs Thwaites added: “If he was here I would say I was so very proud of the man he had become, he wasn’t ashamed to show who he was and he will be missed by everyone.

“His mum, Claire Fry, is in pieces, they were more than mother and son they were best friends.

“We want to give him the most colourful and bright send off possible.”

Tommy Thwaites
Tommy Thwaites

A message on the page reads: "As you all know our beloved Tommy lost his fight with his demons on Saturday, November 16.

"As you can all imagine his friends and family are heartbroken by this news, and I’m sure you can all appreciate we would love to give him the most colourful and brightest send off possible.

"We would love any contributions, every penny counts and will be greatly appreciated. Even if 100 people donated £1 that’s £100 taken off of his family’s shoulders.

"So to all Tommy’s family and friends and to anyone’s heart he touched we would be so thankful for the smallest donations.

"From the family we thank you all in advance for your kind words and donations they have not gone unnoticed."

Tommy Thwaites
Tommy Thwaites

The family will also be holding a lantern release at Barming Heath Field at 6pm on Saturday, November 30. Everyone is welcome.

Chief Executive, Helen Greatorex of Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, said: “We are truly saddened to hear of the tragic death of Mr Thwaites. Our sincerest condolences are with Mr Thwaites’ family and all those who loved him.

"In instances where someone who has died has been known to our services, we work closely with Her Majesty’s Coroner as well as the person’s family to ensure that all the questions that people have are answered.”

If you would like to donate click here.

For confidential support on an emotional issue call Samaritans on 116123 at any time.

Read more: all the latest news from Maidstone

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