FAMILY and friends are hoping to raise enough money for a commemorative statue of a teenager who died at the age of 19 after falling from Queensway Bridge, in Southend.

So far, more than £600 of the £5,000 target has been raised but permission will need to be granted by Southend Council, and a location for the statue agreed.

Chris Nota’s friends, Millie Holmes, 19, who has been campaigning for more action to tackle mental health since his death, and Joann Lock, 18, have been working together to create the statue, which they hope to have installed this month, to coincide with with Suicide Prevention Month.

Millie said: “The statue would be to remember those who have lost their battle against mental health and those are still fighting against it.

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“We want people who find it difficult to fit in to be honoured, whether they suffer from depression, anxiety, or learning difficulties.

“Our new generation is fighting against the corruption our people face and we want people to know that this isn’t over.”

Chris’ Mum, Julia Hopper, who also runs Southend SEND Community group, said: “I love this idea - these young people are incredible to have done this for Chris.

“All of Chris’ friends have been running their campaign #ChrisTheKindHeartedGiant because they all feel so strongly about mental health and disability within their generation.

“This issue is their issue too, because they’re living it.”

Chris had autism and suffered with his mental health.

His family and friends have been critical of the mental health treatment Chris received.

Julia added: “Every little donation will mean more to us than anything.

“It’s time to stop our precious loved ones being failed.”

Julia has joined forces with Melanie Leahy, who has been fighting for a public inquiry after her son Matthew, was found dead at The Linden Centre, a mental health unit, in Chelmsford, in 2012. He had been in the care of the unit for just a week.

Chris’ friend, Joann, who set up the GoFundMe page, added: “Chris was someone who would always put a smile on someone’s face and would always know how to cheer you up with his sense of humour.

“He cared so much for everyone around and everyone cared so much for him. He would brighten up a whole room with his smile.

“As well as remembering Chris, we want the statue to be symbolic for mental health in young people.

“We want the statue in a gentle quiet place, something that’s quite calm. He used to love going down to Chalkwell Park or the seafront.”

To make a donation, visit

Follow ChrisTheKindHeartedGiant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Follow Justice For Matthew Leahy on Facebook.