From brink of suicide to charity cash hero

Jack Fayers and Nick Pearmain fundraisers

Jack Fayers and Nick Pearmain fundraisers - Credit: Archant

A young man battling severe depression has raised £10,500 for charity in less than a year.

Jack Fayers, a bar-worker from Gainsborough Road, Plaistow, suffered a nervous breakdown and attempted suicide when he was only 16.

He was standing on a bridge, preparing to end his life, when a police officer found him.

“At the time I hated him, but if I could meet him again I would buy him a drink for what he did, saving my life,” Jack, now 23, said.

His parents took him to Newham University Hospital, where he was sectioned for six months.

One of the things that contributed to his suicidal urges was the death of his beloved grandmother, so in May this year, Jack and his lifelong friend Nick Pearmain decided to honour her memory by holding a gala in aid of the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research.

“Nick’s grandad died of heart problems and we chose Cancer Research because that’s what my nan died of,” Jack explained.

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That night saw the birth of Nick and Jack’s Helping Events – which has raised £10,500 for charity to date.

Their most recent event was a 24-hour special of Nick’s radio show, All Jokes Aside, across December 3 and 4, raising £780 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

As if broadcasting online all day and all night wasn’t enough, Jack showed he really would do anything for charity when he ate five of the world’s hottest chilli peppers - live on radio.

Despite his battle with depression, Jack remains dynamic and dedicated to helping others - particularly those who might be considering suicide.

“The message I want to tell people is to stop and think about what you are doing,” he said.

“The way you feel when you lose someone is how you will make your friends and family feel.”

Jack’s illness has been no barrier to success.

In his previous job as a security guard, he even protected the Queen at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show, and more recently, he has organised six Nick and Jack’s Helping Events in just eight months.

Now he is raising awareness of mental health issues by speaking out about his personal struggle, and doing what he does best: helping to organise a glittering black tie dinner to help charities.

The Don’t Suffer In Silence gala will take place on June 2, 2017, and all proceeds will go to MIND and youth charity Bedazzle.

Jack said: “You can achieve anything no matter what you have been through, whether it’s low self-esteem, anxiety or trying to kill yourself.

“I’m slowly achieving what I want to and getting where I want to be in life.”

If you have been affected by the issues in this story, you can contact the Samaritans for support 24 hours a day by calling 116 123 or emailing