Three siblings from Basingstoke who lost their mum to depression 10 years ago are organising a memorial football match to raise awareness about mental health.

Ryan, Harrison and Charity Smith are raising money to support Mind, a mental health charity, as part of the memorial football match that will be held at the Hampshire FA pitch in Winklebury on December 5.

They are promoting Mind's two mental health campaigns - 'Side-by-side' and 'Ask twice'.

The two brothers and the sister lost their mum Gail Gilbey Smith to depression on November 15, 2011, when they were just 26, 21 and 14.

Harrison remembers that period as a very difficult time as they were at challenging stages of their lives.

“It was really difficult for us,” the 31-year-old told the Gazette.

“My sister was only 14 then and doing her GCSE. I had just finished college and was trying to figure out what to do with my career. My older brother had just completed his university and was on a grad scheme starting his career.

“And the death affected us all differently. Since we are of different ages, it was even difficult to talk to each other. We all dealt it ourselves.

“Ten years ago, there was a lot less knowledge about mental health awareness. It was also misunderstood back then.

“The following year was blurry for me, and I don’t think I was really in control of myself. It was hard to concentrate on things and stay stable. It continued until I was 25-26 when I met my girlfriend. That was a positive impact for me.”

He quickly turned his life around and now works in Basingstoke. He is now living in Tadley where dad Marco Smith also lives. Ryan is living with his family in Oakley.

Harrison remembers his mum as a well-liked popular lady who would do anything for anyone and who always made sure everyone is laughing and smiling.

“When we lost her it was like crashing a tower of Jenga blocks,” he said.

“You pull a piece and it comes crashing down. I had to build myself a second time. Some people take a short time to do it, but some people a long time. Either way you get stronger and learn what your coping mechanisms are.

“That’s why we want to raise awareness to people who are struggling with mental health. People don’t have to lose heart. There's always someone, something, somewhere to make you smile. You're never at the end, you're just at new beginnings.”

Harrison is an amateur footballer and plays for Watlington Town FC in Oxfordshire, his mum's hometown.

For the charity football match, the two teams – Side-by-side FC and AskTwice FC – will have 15 players each made up of their family and friends. The brothers will captain each side while Charity and dad will support from the side-lines.

Charity, in her fundraiser post, said the real winner of the game regardless of the result will be mental health awareness.

“Ten years has sometimes felt like an eternity but at other times it has felt like only yesterday,” she said.

“Now more than ever, people are realising how precious our mental health is. Let’s do everything we can to break the stigma, together, and ensure a brighter future for everybody.”

If you want to contribute to their cause, visit