BALLOONS will be released in memory of a Southampton man who took his own life last year.

The ceremony aims to celebrate his birthday and raise suicide awareness after Liam Cullum - whose friends call him Cully - died on August 28, shortly after his 21st birthday on August 16 - which is the same date that family and friends will gather this month at Mayflower Park to send off balloons into the air.

Around 100 people are expected to turn up to the ceremony for Liam, who had two sisters Kayleigh, 23, Teigan, 16, and two brothers, Daniel, 25 and Rhys, 18, and was expecting a child before he died.

His friend Liam Cooley, 23, who organised the event, said: "I was very close friends with him, I moved in next door to him and we done everything together, including going on drives and going on many nights out.

"He was a bubbly, energetic, young man and he would always be there no matter what, we always looked after each other."

He added: "This is open to anyone - donations will be accepted for his funeral to be paid off and they will go towards a chosen suicide charity."

Liam's funeral was held on September 18 last year and was followed by a balloon release and fireworks display at Bargate, which were followed by his friends and family walking down to Southampton Docks and saying goodbye to him.

Another of Liam's friends Zoe Mansbridge, 23, said: "Me and Cully had days together and he was a lovely guy.

"I lost my friend through this and now I can't get him back, so if we can save other people by doing this balloon release, we want to."

His mother Cheryl Callum, 47, will also be attending the ceremony after giving Mr Cooley permission to host the release.

The catering assistant said: "Liam was certainly a character and liked to make people feel happy, including being a comedian and always asking funny questions, and he loved the sea and the beach.

"If you need to talk to someone, speak to anyone, even if it's not your mum - seek help, even from a stranger, as sometimes it's easier to talk to someone you don't know."

  • You should call 999 or go to A&E if you, or someone you know, experiences a life-threatening medical or mental health emergency.

These are cases where there is immediate danger to life or physical injury. A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a medical emergency.

If you feel like you may be close to acting on suicidal thoughts or have seriously harmed yourself, you should call 999 or go to A&E directly if you need immediate help and are worried about your safety.