A BROKEN-HEARTED musician is performing in a New Cumnock festivalto remember his tragic brother.

Taylor Howie, 22, was left destroyed when his ‘idol’ took his own life after struggling with depression and anxiety.

Now he is picking up his guitar and playing in the SAWLASE Music festival to remember his big brother Lee Howie, 27, and remind others ‘there is always another way’.

It comes as the Sweet Afton Water Leisure and Sports Enterprise (SAWLASE) launch their music festival to raise awareness for mental health after seeing a rise in suicides in the community.

Taylor, who has struggled with depression himself, hopes the festival will bring people together and let people talk about how they are feeling.

After relying on music to express him self throughout his life he is determined to use his talents to make others feel better.

Cumnock Chronicle:

The ambitious songwriter will dedicate his performance to his brother Lee, known has Leebo, for ‘making him the man he is today’.

Taylor said: “The organisers knew I struggled with mental health and everything I went through with my brother so they invited me along to play in the festival.

“I think it is a really good idea because it will br ing the community together and show everyone they aren’t alone.

“My brother was my hero and idol, I used to copy everything he did when I was younger and wanted to be just like him.

“He passed away after battling depression and obviously had just let things build up over the years.

“I want people to know it doesn’t need to be like that there is always asilver lining and a way out you just need to find what you are passionate about and for me that is music.

“I hope I am making him proud and that the festival will reach out to people and let them know that no matter how hard things get it can always get better.”

The Festival will run from July 20 to 21 at venues around New Cumnock including the Town Hall.

Cumnock Chronicle:

Organiser of the event Geoff Crolley is hoping there will be a big turn out.

He said: “There will be lots of different kinds of music for residents to enjoy while we raise awareness for a serious problem in the community. We are looking for any donations and volunteers to help us make the day a success.

Some businesses have pledged £50 to help us already.”

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans (free) on 116123.

The following organisations also provide support: CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858, Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk, Mind, www.mind.org.uk