A BICESTER woman has raised thousands of pounds for a mental health charity by going vegan in memory of ‘the most unique, loving, hilariously silly’ man.

Oli Cousins, who had ‘the biggest heart’, died by suicide in January after a ‘cascade of triggers and overwhelming stress’.

Daniela Devren, his wife’s sister, set up a GoFundMe page a week later - pledging to go vegan for a month and complete Veganuary to raise cash for the charity CALM.

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is a charity preventing suicide – the biggest killer in men under 45 in the UK.

Anyone struggling with their mental health or having suicidal thoughts can seek help from charities such as the Samaritans - call 116 123.

She wrote on the page, which has now raised £2,500: “Nothing seems to ease the pain, erase our guilt or make the tears stop so I wanted to channel this very much unwanted energy/heartache into something meaningful.

“Oli talked about going vegan for January, so I will promise to do so in his memory for the rest of the month. Anyone who knows me well will know I would never willingly choose this lifestyle, no disrespect to those that do I’m just not disciplined enough, and I’m not quite sure how I’ll cope without cheese, chocolate or mayo.”

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The 32-year-old family man, from Witney, had been working with vulnerable adults as a carer for 10 years before becoming a painter and decorator.

His widow Laura, who he had two young daughters with, says that he had suffered with his mental health for some time but had developed coping mechanisms, like being there for others and having a laugh, from a young age.

She says that as a child he was given support for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Order) but because the condition is often misunderstood as being exclusive to children he didn’t get the support and understanding he needed as an adult.

The 32-year-old is now trying to raise awareness of the challenges of living with ADHD as an adult and the complexity of male suicide.

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Mrs Cousins said: “He loved so deeply and was loved so much in return however sometimes this isn’t enough to save someone and so much more is needed to raise awareness of how complex male suicide is and how difficult it can be to talk openly about our struggles.”

She added that checking in with each other and being kind can make a difference.

Leaving her tribute to her childhood sweetheart she said he was ‘so kind, caring and compassionate’.

She added: “As our daughter said, she will see you in her dreams, and I know you will never leave their sides as their guiding light and protector. I just couldn’t be prouder of having been your wife, your soul mate and your friend.”

Visit the fundraiser here. 

  • Anyone struggling or having suicidal thoughts can seek help from the Samaritans - call 116 123.