Best friend of teen killed in industrial lift fall horror dies

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The best friend of a teenager killed in a tragic lift accident in Liverpool last month has died.

Callum Cunningham, 17, who lived in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, is believed to have taken his own life on Monday, May 31, leaving his friends and family devastated.

His death tragically came just days after his close friend, 17-year-old Clayton Bottomley, died following a lift accident which also led to the death of Clayton's dad David.

The father and son, from Castleford in West Yorkshire, were working at the Unity Building in Liverpool city centre on Wednesday, May 19, when an external construction lift collapsed as they were using it.

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David, 53, was pronounced dead at the scene, while Clayton was rushed to hospital but died a few days later.

Following hard on the heels of this tragedy, the death of Callum has left the community in shock, reports Leeds Live.

Father and son David and Clayton Bottomley from Castleford, West Yorkshire

One of his best friends, Taylor Hardwick, 18, who has set up a fundraising page in memory of Callum, said of the teenager: "He always had a smile on his face and made everyone else smile too."

The pair played rugby together and Taylor wanted to send out a message encouraging people to speak out about their mental health.

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He said: "I want people to speak up and let other people know how they feel. With men, we have always got a chip on our shoulders.

"We want to look good and we never speak about our feelings. Lots of us feel like we're to blame and that we could have done more.

"We spoke to Callum every day and checked up on him but we didn't know how he was feeling and I've now come to terms with that and there is no way we could have known."

Helplines and support groups

The following are helplines and support networks for people to talk to, mostly listed on the NHS Choices website

  • Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you're feeling, or if you're worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org.
  • Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won't show up on your phone bill.
  • PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is an organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
  • Mind (0300 123 3393) is a charity providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
  • Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
  • Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.
  • Amparo provides emotional and practical support for anyone who has been affected by a suicide. This includes dealing with police and coroners; helping with media enquiries; preparing for and attending an inquest and helping to access other, appropriate, local support services. Call 0330 088 9255 or visit www.amparo.org.uk for more details.

  • Hub of Hope is the UK’s most comprehensive national mental health support database. Download the free app, visit hubofhope.co.uk or text HOPE to 85258 to find relevant services near you.
  • Young Persons Advisory Service – Providing mental health and emotional wellbeing services for Liverpool’s children, young people and families. tel: 0151 707 1025 email: support@ypas.org.uk
  • Paul's Place – providing free counselling and group sessions to anyone living in Merseyside who has lost a family member or friend to suicide. Tel: 0151 226 0696 or email: paulsplace@beaconcounsellingtrust.co.uk
  • The Martin Gallier Project – offering face to face support for individuals considering suicide and their families. Opening hours 9.30-16.30, 7 days a week. Tel: 0151 644 0294 email: triage@gallierhouse.co.uk

In a poignant tribute on Facebook, Eastmoor Dragons ARLFC paid tribute to Callum, describing him as a "truly terrific player, with the heart of a lion".

They wrote on June 1: "This morning as a club, like many of you are, are waking up to the devastating news that we have lost one of our own. We have been informed of the truly heartbreaking news that one of our Juniors; Callum Cunningham is no longer with us.

"Callum was a truly terrific player, with the heart of a lion, who feared nothing on the field and gave everything, every time he pulled the Eastmoor shirt on. However, more importantly, Callum was a terrific young man who was great to be around.

"The club would like to extended their condolences to Callum’s close family, friends and the community as a whole after this terrible news. We want every individual to know that this club is here for people, no matter what.

"Rest in peace, Callum Cunningham."

Two fundraisers have been set up in memory of Callum. You can donate to one, which has been set up to support Callum's family, here and to Taylor's fundraiser in memory of his friend here.

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