A Skipton woman who started a community campaign to promote men’s mental health in memory of her brother was named Tenant of the Year at the annual Tpas Awards.
Hayley Carroll, a tenant with Yorkshire Housing, earned herself a standing ovation during her acceptance speech for the award, which was bestowed in recognition of her work with Samuel’s Rainbow.
Carroll established the community campaign shortly after her younger brother, Samuel took his own life in May 2016. A few days after his death, she says the brightest rainbow shone over the woodlands where he was found, which inspired the name of the campaign.
She wanted something positive to come out of her experience by encouraging young men to talk about their mental health.
“I’m really proud to have been awarded the Tenant of the Year at the Tpas Awards. Samuel’s Rainbow encourages males to speak up and let their feelings be known to their family,” Carroll said. “I always said that Sam wouldn’t be another statistic, his story can and will help to save other people’s lives.”
Through her regular ‘Sunday Social’ events, Carroll brings people together in Skipton one Sunday a month to discuss issues in an informal environment. It has about a dozen families that attend regularly and does a great deal to support mental health in her community. She has also helped to fundraise for a local café that helps people with mental health issues.
The motto of Samuel’s Rainbow is: “Even though you’re fed up you’ve got to keep your head up.”
James Haigh, Yorkshire Housing’s community investment manager, said: “Hayley works tirelessly on Samuel’s Rainbow and really deserves this award. She has promoted some great things up in Skipton and helped lots of families to come together and talk openly. The standing ovation she received on stage shows how highly people feel about the work she is doing.”
Also nominated in the Inspirational Young Tenant of the Year category were Carroll’s nephews Skyler and Ellis Carroll. The boys were inspired by their aunt, who wanted to raise people’s awareness of the impact of mental health on young men.
The two get involved in Samuel’s Rainbow as much as possible and assist with a range of activities within their neighbourhood. They help so much and try so hard at Samuel’s Rainbow fundraisers and never stop.
Carroll is also arranging an awareness and fundraising event, with special guest star Frank Bruno on 24 May in Skipton, which will also mark Samuel’s third anniversary.
Main Image: Hayley Carroll (left) and James Haigh community investment manager, Yorkshire Housing.