Parents speak out after tragic death of Burnley man (23)

Andrew Peter Allen (s)
Andrew Peter Allen (s)

A talented, loving and caring young man from Burnley who touched the lives of all who knew him has died after battling mental health problems for a number of years.

Gifted Andrew Peter Allen (23) is believed to have taken his own life.

His devastated parents said they now want to help raise awareness of mental health problems and urged more people to speak out about mental illness.

The former pupil of Ightenhill Primary and Ivy Bank Secondary schools loved music and taught himself to read music at an early age.

Parents David and Alison said Andrew’s love of the great outdoors led him to study to be a tree surgeon. He qualified at Myerscough College and spent six months of the course in Melbourne, Australia.

They said he loved living in Australia and found it difficult coming home.

Alison (51), who works at Freshfields in Burnley, said: “He touched everybody’s hearts and he had a cheeky sense of humour.

“When he got back from Australia, his mental health started to deteriorate, he had been in hospital a few times and was really quite poorly.

“If you know somebody with a mental health problem, just try and reach out to them, even if you just put your arm round them and make them a cup of tea. Mental health illness is under-estimated but it can be devastating.”

Dad David, who works at Inspire, said: “We want to highlight mental health. Andrew fitted into a certain bracket of people. You had to rely on him taking medication.

“He was a good person, everybody loved him.”

Andrew joined the Marine Cadets aged 13 and later went on to play the Last Post on the bugle at remembrance services across the North-West.

He was interested in trains and model railways and enjoyed fishing and sailing as well as volunteering at horticultural project Offshoots, in Towneley Park.

As a tribute to Andrew, Offshoots has donated a Windsor oak tree which will be planted at a future date.

Alison, of Brunshaw Road, added: “He was tenacious and determined and he was a loving and caring person.”

As well as his parents, Andrew also leaves brothers Richard (27) and Christopher (20). The funeral was due to take place yesterday at Burnley Crematorium.

The family has asked for donations to mental health charity Mind in his memory.