A County Durham mum has paid tribute to her "loving and caring" son who died a year ago today at just 17-years-old.

Nicola Howarth, who tragically found her son Alfie Nichol-Brown dead in their Newton Aycliffe home on July 30, 2021, has paid tribute to him on the anniversary of his death.

Alfie wanted to join the RAF and was looking forward to the arrival of his sister's baby when his life was cut short.

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Nicola told The Northern Echo: “He was such a caring, loving boy. Whenever he saw someone wasn’t right he would always speak to them and wanted to look after them.

"His life was taken too soon. He wanted to join the RAF and was trying to persuade his sister to move back home so he could help look after her baby when it arrived."

Leaving a lasting legacy, his sister, Charlie, has now named her son Vinnie-Alfie in honour of her late brother.

The Northern Echo: Family picture of Alfie, middle, with sister Charlie, left, and mum Nicola, right.Family picture of Alfie, middle, with sister Charlie, left, and mum Nicola, right.

This weekend and one year to the day, the family are holding a gathering to remember their sorely missed son and brother.

Nicola said: “When he was younger, he always wanted a bouncy castle at his birthday party like his sister but he was born in October and the weather was never good enough, so we’re going to get a bouncy castle.”

Recalling the moment she discovered her son, Nicola described her shock and heartbreak as the ambulance service pronounced him dead at the scene.

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She said: “Alfie’s friend rang the ambulance and my partner Anthony was doing CPR - it was awful."

Alfie, who had a history of seizures and fitting since he was a baby, had previously taken drugs and had just told his mum, Nicola that he wanted to turn his life around just days before.

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Nicola added: “Just two days before he had come to me and said he was ready to turn his life around, he wanted to join the RAF and knew he needed to be 3 years clean, and was looking forward to looking after his nephew when he was born."

If you are in need of support you can contact the following:

- Samaritans is available, day or night, 365 days of the year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.

- If U Care Share on 0191 387 5661 or text IUCS to 85258

- SANE on 07984 967 708, Calm on 0800 58 58 58

- Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust crisis line 0800 0516 171.

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