THE James Burke Foundation, a charity to set up to provide education and support on mental health and suicide prevention has set up its national office at Proton business park in New Wortley, writes Paul Abraham.
The foundation was formed after 21-year-old law student and commonwealth games rugby player James Burke took his own life in 2017.
His mother Sharon Burke is the driving force to make sure that her son’s death will prove a catalyst to bring an end to the stigma of mental health issues and reduce the numbers of suicides by showing that there is another way. Sharon said:
“To be based in West Leeds is tremendous for us with the support we already receive from the area and is now going to give the foundation the solid base to move things forward.
“The office represents a significant investment in the area and our desire to provide support training, one-to-one counselling, coaching and support to anyone who needs it.
“The amazing positivity the charity has received (over 20,000 views in total) following a series of videos produced during the recent Mental Health Awareness Week has given the foundation some incredible feedback.
“It illustrates the need for pro-active training to help people cope with their mental health issues during these incredibly stressful and trying times.”
Sharon added: “I want James to have been for something.
“I desperately want to turn this huge negative into a positive. The James Burke Foundation needs to be and will be synonymous with positive things.
“If I can stop one person feeling the way I do then it will have been a success, if we can stop one young person feeling they’re at the point of no return then it’s a success.
“I just want James’ legacy to be positive because that’s how he lived his life.”
The Foundation wants to say a huge thank you to Bramley-based Paul Abraham, of www.headingonwards.com, for sponsoring the furniture which meant the office could open and also to Bramley Buffaloes Rugby League Club, who proudly promote the charity on their first-team strip.
The Foundation is looking for people to get involved with the work they do, as volunteers, fundraisers or to take part in the training and support available,
Proton Business Park is based off Percy Street, at the bottom of Tong Road.
For more information on the foundation and how it could help you please visit The James Burke Foundation Facebook page or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.