Family of man who committe suicide raise money in his memory

THE family of a Bramley man who committed suicide after decades of suffering from bipolar disorder have raised an incredible £150,000 for charity in his memory.

Duncan Toft, below, of The Mews, was 41 when he took his own life in August 2009 just weeks after being discharged from hospital.

His family believe he could still be alive if he had received more support after being discharged and set themselves the incredible fundraising target to help prevent others suffering the same fate.

The £150,000 will go to charity Bipolar UK to support Project Link, which mentors and gives support to the most vulnerable sufferers, aiming to reduce the suicide rates.

Duncan’s brother Ashley, far right, 48, led the team of fundraisers. He raised the majority of the money through an epic 19-day bike ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats in June.

Ashley, of Bentley, Hampshire, said: “I have been overwhelmed by everybody’s generosity and we seem to have struck a nerve somehow. It has been incredible.”

Duncan worked for the Bridge Centre, in New Road, Basingstoke, as a mental health social worker. He had suffered from bipolar, a condition in which sufferers experience extreme depression and episodes of mania, for most of his life.

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He died life less than a year after marrying his wife Anna, who has also been supporting the fundraising. She said she was delighted with the efforts of Ashley and his team in raising the cash.

Bipolar UK held an event in Christie’s, London to celebrate the team’s achievements and to draw two Golden Tickets in a raffle for trips to the North and South Pole being offered by Ashley’s adventure travel company Explore. The event, on Wednesday, October 17 was hosted by Viscount Linley and attended by Stephen Fry. The final £11,000 of the total was raised at the event.

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