A FESTIVAL in memory of a much-loved father who took his own life will take place this weekend in Torfaen.

Mathew David Harvey, a talented musician who played with several rock bands, was described by his family as a “beautiful person”.

To celebrate his memory and raise awareness of depression and male suicide, family and friends have created the three-day Mathewfest, with 200 people set to be involved.

The event starts today and will run until Sunday in the Cwmbran and Pontypool area with all funds donated to the Samaritans.

On Saturday, September 9, there will be a charity fun run starting at 10.30am at The Open Hearth Pub in Pontypool.

The event also marks World Suicide Prevention Day 2017 on Sunday, September 10 with a music festival at Pontypool United RFC Memorial Ground 

Doors open at 6pm for a 7pm start.

Best friend Craig Jenkins said: “For me, this event needed to take part for two main reasons.

“Firstly, to celebrate the life and memory of Mathew and secondly to raise the awareness of depression and male suicide.

“There is simply not enough done to tackle this awful disease. This is one of the reasons why we chose Samaritans in Wales as our charity because of the amazing support they provide for anyone going through a difficult time in their life.

“You would never think Mathew was going through what he was going through and I can only hope that following Mathewfest, even if we make one person pick up the phone and call Samaritans, then we have made a difference.”

Mr Harvey, from Sebastopol, Torfaen, died last year and his funeral took place on December 20, 2016.

Friend Mr Jenkins added guitarist Mathew would have wanted Mathewfest to go ahead.

“Mathew was a beautiful person who is missed and loved by so many people," he said.

“I am so proud and thankful to everyone taking part to celebrate Mathew’s memory and to help raise awareness of the importance of reaching out for help.”

The money from the festival will go towards the Samaritans’ South Wales Valleys (SSWV)project, which aims to reduce suicide across the South Wales Valleys.

Project officer for SSWV, Susan Francis, said the festival is a positive way of “raising awareness of the importance of talking and reaching out for help”.

“Feeling distressed or suicidal is far more common than many people may think and the important thing is that we encourage conversation,” she said.

“We know that many people bottle up their problems and try to be strong but there is no shame in asking for help, in fact I would say it’s a strength.

“Our project aims to increase access to our emotional support service and encourage help-seeking behaviour in the Valleys area and this event and celebration is all about those same aims."

To find out more about Mathewfest, or to donate, please visit www.justgiving.com/teams/MathewFest