A SPECIAL memorial gathering will be held on the bridge at Upton upon Severn to mark the 20th birthday of Christopher McCabe who died in the river there.

On Saturday, May 18, Christopher, who was known as Christie, will be remembered with up to 90 purple ribbons – his favourite colour – being tied to the bridge railings.

A fund-raiser was started shortly after Christie’s tragic loss to help to pay for his funeral.

The community joined together to raise £4,000 to support his family who would like to say a heartfelt thank you to those who contributed.

Friends say he was an incredibly intelligent, kind and caring young man with so much love to give who always put the needs of everybody else before himself, especially his family.

He was frequently seen walking around his hometown of Upton upon Severn, lost in his headphone-world of music or chatting to the locals who quickly became his friends.

To celebrate his birthday, his Auntie Sue would like to invite anyone who knew Christie or those who struggle with mental health battles to the walkway on Upton Bridge on Saturday, May 18 at 3pm, followed by drinks and a safe space to talk and share stories at the Boathouse, Upton upon Severn at 3.30pm.

The purple ribbons will remain on Upton Bridge for Saturday and Sunday to help remember Christie via his favourite colour and to visually represent mental health struggles.

His friends and relatives say: “Do come along at 3pm on Saturday if you would like to be involved...the more the merrier!”

Severn Area Rescue Association Upton were among those who assisted in the search for Christie and would like to help acknowledge the often-overlooked importance of water safety via their open day on Sunday, June 2 at Upton Marina, from 11am to 3pm.

There will be water safety demonstrations from their crews, local charity stalls, a tombola and games as well. It is their way of helping to say thank you to all of the community for caring for this “wonderful young man and his family.”

Abigail Williams, fund-raising officer for the association, said “Please do not struggle with mental health battles alone, help is widely available via varies charities and there is always somebody who cares no matter how bad things may seem.

“Invite people over for a cup of tea and a chat or even just pay people a compliment or give them a smile. A small gesture can make a world of difference and in our current world it is so important and costs nothing to be kind.”