Callum King who would have been 19 today died last weekend after falling from Eastbourne Pier, as reported in The Argus, the article details the incident, but not the facts or history of Callum, who was a popular resident and member of ETHRAG. Callum drowned and The East Sussex coroner’s office has been informed and an inquest will follow.
How I Met Callum King
I first came across Callum last May when I was living in Percival Terrace, which is unsupported emergency accomodation, I remember seeing him outside with residents who were not the type he should’ve been hanging around with.
He would be outside a lot because he used to use the wifi, which some residents had access to, although the provider was not keen to give out the code. I remember thinking he looked really young, much younger than the 18 years he was at the time.
It was only a little later when I was in another residents room that I got to talk to Callum, he was quite shy but took a shine to another resident and former teaching assistant who often looked after some of the most vulnerable residents, he often chilled out with the elders who would look out for him.
He told me he was under the care of social services and explained he was placed in Percival Terrace by Social Services, he also told me he was a care leaver. He didn’t have a huge amount of money so residents would often band together and cook for him, I asked if he wanted help moving somewhere with more support and he said yes, so I contacted his ward councillor and Lead for Children’s Services
A Request For Help
In the email which I sent on 09/06/2016 to Cllr’s Tom Bewick and a Former Cllr for the East Brighton ward, I pleaded for help saying
Its been a mad few weeks but being a care leaver no one can say we
aren’t resilient. Anyway there is an 18 year old vulnerable care leaver in
percival terrace and i am worried about his safety.
I really this under gvmnt leglislation we should be helping this young
man get back on track, i cant allow him to slip through the net, he has
no idea what his rights are which is sad.
Tom Responded by saying
Good to hear from you.
I’m asking Faye to set something up with me and Maggie.
I don’t like what I’m hearing about Percival Terrace and I’d like to
Also, if the care leaver you’re assisting wants to share any details,
I’m happy to see if I can do anything.
In a reply I provided contact details and advised
He’s got a section 17, he has a probation officer, who is putting in an
appeal to get him a duty of care until 21.
He shouldn’t be in here and we can save him.
Tom then Replied
Maggie and I are in close touch on this.
I did a couple of months later meet with Tom, although not much came from the 20 minute meeting, I understand that Pinaki Ghosal Director of Children’s Services was also aware of Callum’s case, however Callum was evicted from Percival Terrace for bringing friends back to his room.
There is a No Visitor Rule in place, which he breached and therefore the manager at the time called Phil ended his licence, even after we pleaded to allow him to stay.
Callum was moved to Grand Parade which was a much worse accomodation, he hated it there. After then Callum sadly like many others fell off the radar.
Moved To Eastbourne
Callum was then moved to Eastbourne, a tactic often used for residents with difficulties, as I said previously Callum wasn’t difficult, he was hiding pain which I will not go into.
Sources in Callum’s family said Callum made friends in Eastbourne, but the events surrounding his death will come out, but thats is not for this blog post, that is for later. He was not rough sleeping, he was sofa surfing due to previous evictions from emergency accomodation with a friend.
He was loved and often supported by family, he was NOT neglected by his family and he certainly DID NOT commit Suicide. The Truth Will Come Out!
Community React and Pledge Support
I have been so affected by Callum’s passing, that I thought it would be a nice touch to honour Callum and help his family during this difficult time, they are firstly wanting answers around what happened on the day of Callum’s death and obviously need to grieve.
I have set up a Crowdfunding campaign to help toward the funeral costs and the local community and donors from across the country have acted pledged support.
If you knew Callum or want to help his family you can do so by going to Callum’s JustGiving page.
Did You Know Callum?
If you want you can like and comment on a Memorial Facebook page which has been set up by family here.
You can also leave your messages of goodwill below in the comments section below.
Happy 19th Birthday Callum, your cheeky personality, smile and kindness to others will be remembered by your friends at ETHRAG. Your Family loved you loads and loads and I truly hope the answers everyone seek are provided.
Sleep tight young man xx