I first met Brian Edney as a candidate back in 2005 and over the years our friendship grew, and I placed him in many freelance jobs and permanent roles. You could not get a more loyal, supportive and positive person to work for you – he was a character full of banter and stories and would make you smile with crazy messages and photos of his life and his dog Franki.
Brian had been through a lot over the years including losing his wife to Cancer but always tried to stay positive.
However, 2018 was incredibly hard for him, he lost a very close friend in February and by June he started to go down-hill and moved away from his home in Weybridge. For 3 months, his friends and family we all spoke to him numerous times a day, trying to help with support, advice and love. He tried to take his life at the start of the Summer and sadly, on the 27th August 2018 he did. The absolute devastation from suicide is unlike any other loss that I have experienced, he was only 53 and had so much to live for but his ill mental health became too much for him to cope with. Brian is not alone and suicide effects the lives of so many on a daily basis.
Through another candidate who I have got to know very well over the years, we have had the opportunity to work for The Samaritans, a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. The core of Samaritans' work is a telephone helpline, operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In addition, the organisation offers a drop-in service for face-to-face discussion, undertakes outreach at festivals and other outdoor events, trains prisoners as "Listeners" to provide support within prisons, and undertakes research into suicide and emotional health issues.
Christmas can be an especially hard time intensifying feelings of loss, being alone and coping with difficult situations. 1 in 3 calls to Samaritans on Christmas Day are from people who feel lonely and isolated. So, this year instead of gifts, Bluetree have donated £1,000 to the Samaritans on behalf of all our freelancers and clients who have worked with us in 2018 and this is especially for Brian.
Back in August 2016 Brian sent me this message - Life is too short to wake up in the mornings with regrets, so love the people who treat you right and forget the ones that don't and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said that It'd be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.
Miss you Brian x
By Claire Newman