Lara Lightfoot’s friend took her own life just weeks before her 21st birthday

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A woman has paid tribute to her 'kind and funny' best friend who tragically died just weeks before her 21st birthday.

The Sheffield pair met at work and became good friends straight away, and ended up living and travelling together.

“She had had a hard life since she was born, but she was really funny and kind. She did everything for people,” Lara told Yorkshire Live.

Lara says she had a really close bond with Jen and it was like losing a member of the family.

“She went above and beyond for her friends. I lost not only my best friend but as she was two years younger than me she was like a little sister to me.

“We lived together, and the house just felt empty after her – I moved to Leeds because I couldn’t live there any longer.”

Lara said she was frustrated as even when Jen was reaching out for help with her mental health, she said she wasn’t provided with it.

Lara believes there is not enough funding for mental health treatment, and charities and other organisations alone are not enough to help those in need.

Lara is now braving a skydive to raise vital funds for Mind UK, in memory of the beloved friend she lost in November 2019.

She said: “Jen was quite reckless and impulsive. We are doing it in her memory. It felt like it is a quite fitting way to remember her.

“We chose skydiving as she was a bit of an adrenaline-junkie. It felt right to do something ‘crazy’.”

“I am terrified, and it is definitely out of my comfort zone, but we would like to help, and I know it is going to be worth it.”

If you would like to help with Lara’s fundraising for Mind UK in honour of her best friend, you can donate here.

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