THERE was a lively turnout on Sunday for a family fun day event held in memory of Pontypool man Christopher Jones.

Mr Jones died in a garage explosion on Monday, July 22. His family believe he took his own life.

His cousin, Donna Sullivan, said Sunday’s event was a fitting tribute to the “caring” Mr Jones.

“He was quiet but so funny,” she said. “He would do anything for anyone.”

The Olive Tree in Cwmbran hosted the fun day, and though there were occasional showers, outdoor activities like a barbecue and bouncy castle were unaffected.

The sound of laughter filled the air as the event’s younger visitors played with mascots of their favourite superheroes and Disney characters.

Proceeds raised at the event will help cover the costs of Mr Jones’ funeral, with Ms Sullivan saying that any additional funds would be donated to mental health awareness causes.

Free Press Series:

(The mascot parade at the family fun day in memory of Christopher Jones.

Raffle prizes had been donated by many local businesses.

Ms Sullivan said she was “overwhelmed” by the turnout and the support of the local community.

“Everyone has been so generous – I can’t put it into words,” she said. “Everyone is so kind and understanding.”

Mr Jones had been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and schizophrenia, and on more than one occasion had been admitted to the Talygarn mental health unit at Griffithstown’s County Hospital.

Last week, Mr Jones’ mum Kathie Jones and her partner, Brian Travers, called for an investigation be carried out after saying they only discovered of Mr Jones’ unsupervised leave after the explosion that killed him.

“He had been sectioned for six months before, so who gave the ‘OK’ for him to go on unsupervised leave?” said Mr Travers. “It does not make sense.

“The other important part is why we, as his family, were not told of this. We all thought he was still at Talygarn on the day he died.

“He was like a teenager, not like a 32-year-old. He was kind and softly spoken. We are speaking out because we do not want another tragedy like this to happen.”

“We definitely would not have wanted him on leave without supervision,” said Mrs Jones.

“I cannot believe that we were not even told about it.

“On the day of the explosion, I was on the phone, when my partner heard a massive bang. We all left our houses and were not allowed back in. I had left my phone in the house. When I later got it, I saw a missed call from Talygarn. I rang them and they said that Christopher had not returned from his leave.

“My life stopped when I heard that. And that was the first time I had heard of him being on leave without supervision.”

A spokesman for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said: “Our thoughts are with Christopher’s family at this very difficult time.

“We have been in contact with his family and as the investigation progresses we will continue to link with them to provide any support and assistance that they require.”

To view that page, visit: