THE family and friends of Scarborough man, Gary Sheffield, have funded Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale Mind to train a member of staff as a Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor in memory of Gary who died in 2016.

Youth Mental Health First Aid courses are for everyone who works with, lives with or supports young people aged 8-18.

The first two day Youth Mental Health First Aid course will take place on January 17 and 18 from 9am to 5pm in Seamer, at a reduced cost of £100 per place.

Call 01723 356562 or email

The course will teach the skills and confidence to spot the signs of mental health issues in a young person, offer first aid and guide them towards the support they need.

Once completed, those who take part will become a qualified mental health first aider so they can listen, reassure and respond to help speed up a young person’s recovery and stop a mental health problem getting worse.

The specialist qualification undertaken by SWR Mind trainer Natalie Clark, was made possible using some of the £3,500 in sponsorship money collected by the loved ones of Gary, 52 who took on the challenge of the McCain Yorkshire Coast 10k Road Race in October 2016. A keen runner himself, Gary volunteered over many years in care services where he gained great satisfaction from supporting children and adults with a range of disabilities and mental health problems.

Record numbers of young people are struggling with their mental health with one in 10 young people experiencing a mental health issue at any one time. For those aged 5 to 19 suicide is the second most common cause of death.

Sophie Hall, chief executive of Scarborough Whitby and Ryedale Mind said she is delighted that the money raised in Gary’s memory will help others in distress.

She said: “I hope that Gary would be pleased and proud that the funds raised on his behalf will go to such an important goal. We will be using the income generated from training to develop further support for young people.

“It’s clear that young people are not getting the support they need and we feel this course will give everyone who comes into contact with young people the skills to spot when someone is struggling and the confidence to offer support in the same way as physical first aiders do."