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Daniel Spargo-Mabbs death: Parents hope charity will prevent drugs deaths

Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Image copyright Spargo-Mabbs family
Image caption The teenager's parents have set up the Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Foundation to improve drugs education

One Friday night in January, a 16-year-old boy persuaded his mother to let him go to a party with friends.

It was the last time Daniel Spargo-Mabbs spoke to his parents. The teenager died three days later of multiple organ failure, after taking ecstasy at a rave in west London.

His parents Fiona and Tim have now set up a charity, to try to prevent a similar tragedy from happening to another family.

"It is like there are two realities," said Mrs Spargo-Mabbs.

"One where I have these two lovely boys who I really love and a job I love and a life that was busy and good - and there is another reality where I have one son."

Her husband Tim added: "It is a completely new experience, there is no language for it."

In August, Nicqueel Pitrora, 18, of Croydon, was jailed for five years after admitting being concerned in the supply of a class A drugs, to Daniel and his friends.

During the trial, the court heard Daniel and his friends pooled money together to pay for the drugs.

Three bags of white powder were delivered and Daniel, who paid £20 for MDMA, is believed to have put about half a gram of the drug into 500ml of water. A witness claimed he possibly drank it in one go.

Image copyright Hope Elsdon
Image caption The foundation has a group of ambassadors who are fundraising and taking part in awareness days

Speaking for the first time since Pitrora was jailed, his parents said they had set up the Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Foundation to help parents, teachers and young people become more informed about drugs.

The charity aims to develop a peer mentoring programme, deliver drugs education in schools and work with families.

"We will have a six-week programme for teachers and peer mentors," said Mrs Spargo-Mabbs.

"We want to talk with parents and hold workshops raising awareness."

The charity already has a group of 17 ambassadors who are taking part in awareness days and fundraising.

Student Archie Coombs, whose sister was in a relationship with Daniel at the time of his death, said: "I wanted to do something and not just be sad.

"I wanted to put my energy into something good."

Since joining the foundation he has helped to raise £400 through a tuck shop at the Archbishop Tenison's School in Croydon, where Daniel was a pupil.

Hope Elsdon, from south Croydon, has also offered her help. She had been friends with Daniel since they started secondary school.

Image copyright Hope Elsdon
Image caption Hope Elsdon is one of the foundation's ambassadors and was friends with Daniel

"I think if the foundation helps one person it is worth it," she said.

"There is nowhere near enough drugs education in schools."

Daniel's mother said she had talked about drugs with her son, but admits she would have different conversations with him now.

"I would have more conversations about resilience and peer pressure," she said.

"When I think about peer pressure you think about people who are weak but Dan wasn't weak.

"I think he cared too much about what people thought about him but what teenager and what adult doesn't?"

Mr Spargo-Mabbs believes that by educating young people about drugs they could make informed choices.

Image copyright Spargo-Mabbs family
Image caption Fiona and Tim Spargo-Mabbs hope Daniel's story will help educate people about risks of taking drugs

"We are asking them not to be on the back foot when it happens and they can develop a plan," said Mr Spargo-Mabbs.

"If you have thought this through when it occurs you can say no."

Daniel's last words to his mother when he left for the party were "I love you mum, I promise I won't die".

Mrs Spargo-Mabbs said she had got into a habit of hugging her son when he left the house and saying "I love you" after she learnt the mother of murdered teenager Jimmy Mizen did the same and was comforted by this after her son died.

"Boys don't want you cuddling them as it is really embarrassing and Dan would say you're only doing this because you think I might die," Mrs Spargo-Mabbs said.

"It's a tough couple of months ahead with Christmas, 2015 and we leave Dan behind and then the first anniversary and an inquest which we haven't got a date for," said Mrs Spargo-Mabbs.

"We would like Dan to be remembered as someone who had a good heart, he was bright and curious and interested in everything.

"We know that Dan would be proud of us for doing this."

Image copyright Spargo-Mabbs family
Image caption Fiona Spargo-Mabbs believes her son Daniel would be proud of what the charity is doing

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