Charities to benefit following tragic death of Wensleydale teenager

James Ashcroft.

Three charities, including an organisation which aims to tackle mental health through research, are to benefit following the tragic death of a Wensleydale student.

17-year-old James Ashcroft took his own life earlier this month.

James, from Carperby, who was head boy at The Wensleydale School and Sixth Form, left behind parents Mark and Debbie, and twin sister Sophie.

The death has shocked and saddened many people in the dale and the school community.

James’ funeral will take place at 12 noon on Monday, May 27 at St Andrew’s Church, Aysgarth.

Instead of flowers, James’ family are asking for donations to three good causes.

These include MQ: Transforming Mental Health, an organisation which funds research into how best to improve treatments, understanding and prevent mental illness.

Mark Ashcroft said: “James Ashcroft was 17 years old and just about to take his A levels before he took his own life.

“James wanted to be a doctor, he was passionate about medical research and how it could transform lives.

“He also wanted to fix any problems himself – he did not want to ask for help.”

“Typical support help lines were not suitable for James and would not have helped him because he would not engage with them.”

“We felt it much better to raise money to support research on how to help people like James and perhaps prevent him getting to this point in the first place.

“I think he would have been passionate about this research.”

The family is also asking for donations to the Cave Rescue Organisation, which recovered James’ body, and the Amala Trust, which runs a children’s home in Tamil Nadu in Southern India.

James visited Amala together with his family and school several years ago.

Mark added: “James loved the trip, working hard helping the home and teaching the children there.

“Back in the UK he helped me fundraise, including hours spent labelling and posting newsletters.

“He loved his experience, he loved the home, he would love people to donate to this cause.”

To donate to the charities, click on the following links: