Louth's sky turns red in memory of Richard

St James' Church was floodlit red over the New Year period to highlight the importance of good mental health, in memory of Louth man Richard Madge who lost his battle with mental health two years ago.

St James' Church, Louth, was lit up red over the New Year to raise awareness for mental health. (Photo: Tanya Kuzemczak).

For the second year running, the floodlights of the Parish Church were turned red for one week thanks to the friends of popular lad Richard, who died at the age of 29 on January 29, 2017.

New Year’s Eve would have been Richard’s 31st birthday, and the colour red is significant as Richard was a big supporter of Liverpool FC.

The touching tribute was organised by Shane Billinger and Mark Bee. Shane told the Leader: “I will always arrange for the lights to be red over the New Year period.

St James Church was lit up red to raise awareness for mental health. Photo: Chris Howell (Click Howell Photography) St James Church has been lit up red to raise awareness for mental health. Photo: Chris Howell (Click Howell Photography)

“We are also wanting to raise a fund somehow to keep all the lamps on St James’ lit all year round. To raise mental health awareness every new years is a positive.”

Shane thanked the Church and the local community for their support.

The Rector of Louth, the Rev’d Nick Brown, said: “The Church places great importance on helping people live life fully – which means in mind, body and soul.

“A huge amount of our work is to do with the spirituality of the whole person including body and mind as well as soul.

“Whilst people often spot problems with bodily health, the need for good mental health is often less understood – often being ignored.

“As a Church, we are committed to helping people, and are grateful to the friends of Richard who enabled us to remember him and highlight the need for everyone to look after their mental health.”

While it can be difficult to find help with mental health issues, there are charities, church and community groups committed to supporting good mental health locally.

• The leading mental health charity SANE provides a national helpline (SANEline) on 0300 304 7000 between 4.30pm and 10.30pm daily.