THE family of a tragic teenager hope a new bench in his memory will deter others from taking their own lives.

Since 16-year-old Christian Carswell’s death in January last year, his grieving family have tried to raise awareness about suicide while at the same time coming to terms with their heartbreaking loss.

His loved ones have now installed a wooden bench near his childhood home at Stanley Crook, County Durham, in his memory.

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Christian’s sister Lauren said: “It’s a bench about him but we also hope that anyone who feels like killing themselves may come and see it and it may change their view.

“I think we need to be more open about it, if people talked about it then maybe they wouldn’t end up doing it.

“This bench is about all that my brother was as well as what he might have been.

“It shows he was loved and always will be.”

The bench, carved by sculptor Tommy Craggs, features Christian’s two dogs, Raggy and Stella, his motorbike helmet and the line “On a warm summer’s eve on a train bound for nowhere” - the opening line of the song 'The Gambler' played at his funeral.

Lauren, 17, said it had been placed within sight of Christian’s old bedroom and primary school and near where the pair used to ride their bikes.

She said: “This is a special place for the family.

“Losing him was just terrible, so awful.

“At six foot six he was a big friendly giant, he was very popular and everybody knew him.

“He was funny and a good listener, he was like a counsellor to a lot of his friends.”

Family including Christian’s mother Alison Alderson, father Richard Carswell, grandmother Maureen Jordan, step-father Darren Alderson, girlfriend Elissa Tray and best friend Shane Dowson gathered to unveil the bench.

They have also raised more than £2,000 to pay for the memorial and to donate to Papyrus, a charity aimed at preventing suicide in young people.

Lauren, one of Christian’s siblings along with Annabel, seven, and Lucas, six, said: “It was not something I ever thought would affect me, I don’t think anyone does until it happens.

“It’s an awful thing but if people talked about it instead of bottling these feelings up then it might be different.”

For more information or advice, visit papyrus-uk.org