THE loved ones of a man who last year ascended thousands of feet in the air in his memory.

Jamie Buck, from Newton Aycliffe, died in December 2018 following a battle with bipolar disorder, psychosis and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

His family are fighting to raise money to fund support for people suffering with mental illness and believe more needs to be done to stop suicide.

Five family members and a close family friend took to the skies in a tandem skydive at Shotton Airfield, on Saturday.

Mr Buck's sister, Amie Buck, said: "Jamie was an amazing person and always made everyone laugh. He was super funny and thoughtful and would do anything for anyone.

"Mental health is a killer and Jamie's death impacted so many people, this has to go to the Government and something needs to be done."

The parachute jump raised money for North-East charity, ManHealth CIC.

The group aimed to raise £1,000 and have smashed their target with money still being donated.

Manhealth CIC is a Big Lottery-funded peer support network for men established to address male depression and suicide.

The groups run across Newton Aycliffe, Shildon, Spennymoor, Darlington, Barnard Castle and Blyth.

Mr Buck's mother, Carole Buck, said: "We want to fundraise for ManHealth because we don't feel like there's anywhere for men suffering with mental health to go."

Paul Bannister of ManHealth CIC said: “ManHealth CIC, is a peer to peer support service. The peer support group has opened to astounding success throughout County Durham and Northumberland.

“The groups are user led but all follow a programme of support and work towards a recovery model. ManHealth monitor the mental health of the men who visit the project using a mental health and well-being scale.

“I want the men from this region who are struggling with these thoughts and other related mental health conditions to feel there is a safe, confidential and non-judgmental environment where they can come and talk and feel their issues will be relatable to the person or people listening."

An inquest into the cause of Mr Buck's death is to be held.

For support contact ManHealth at manhealth.org.uk or call 01388-320023.

Free, confidential help is available from the Samaritans 24 hours a day on 116123.

To donate to the cause visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/devanandlouieskydive