'Our Tommy will not have died in vain'

Picture of young man

Tommy Spink - Credit: Submitted

The family of a young Torquay man have erected a special memorial to mark the first anniversary of his death - and to help save the lives of others.  

Tommy Spink was found on cliffs at Walls Hill in Babbacombe just a few days before his 21st birthday last January  

Family and friends returned to Walls Hill on Tuesday to unveil a benches-and-table memorial and called it Tommy’s World.  

Picture of memorial

The Tommy's World memorial - Credit: Submitted

Details and the helpline numbers for charities like the Samaritans and suicide bereavement group Pete's Dragon are etched in the wood of the table.  

And Tommy’s family have said: “If we can save just one life than all this would have been worthwhile. Something good and positive will have come from our sad loss and Tommy won’t have died in vain.”  

Tommy had been struggling with mental health issues since he was a teenager. His family have decided to speak out to help others.  

Tommy’s mum and dad, Sandie and Tim, brother and sister Louis, 15, and Toni Stone, 31, visited Tommy’s World with family and friends.  

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Sister Toni said: “It is only by helping others that we can truly help others.”  

The family thanked everybody for their support saying: “It is a year since Tommy left this world.  

“Our young people have shown so much courage, love and kindness to us and have been very wise.  

“The daily support everybody has given us has helped us through this surreal time.”  

They appealed: “Please do not hesitate to underestimate our young people. They can struggle on a daily basis.”  

The Tommy's World bench was erected by the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust and ‘means the world to everybody who loved Tommy,’ they said.  

Close-up picture of memorial

Helpline details etched into the table - Credit: Submitted

Regarding the helpline information on the table, their message was: “You can have a future by calling any of these numbers.”  

Toni said the family were driven to have the bench made as a 'message to anybody who might feel they need a helping hand whether they realise it or not’.  

She added: "Thank you to Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, for allowing us to have a place to sit and reflect, for friends and family but, most importantly, we hope this helps the rest of the Tommys in the world."

Mum Sandie said: “Tomorrow is another day. It will be better. If you aren't here, we can't make it better.”