A SKIN expert has quit the charity he launched.
Barry Crake founded the Human Life Trust (HLT), in 2010 to help vulnerable people have their tattoos removed and scar camouflaging skills.
Over the last two years he has helped more than 2,000 people, and branches of the charity have expanded across the UK.
But the 39–year–old, from Roker, said he has decided to quit after suffering a breakdown and having to declare himself bankrupt.
“It just all got too much,” he said. “Everything took off so quickly and we were swamped with people who needed help.
“We weren’t always able to get the funding we needed, so I was using my own cash.
“I’ve missed out on about £56,000 in earnings, so sadly I had to declare myself bankrupt.
“On Christmas Day, I even had someone getting in touch with me saying they were going to harm themselves because they were so fed up with the tattoo they had.
“My family life was suffering and it just wasn’t fair on them, so I knew it was time to call it a day.
“The charity will still be running, just without me.”
Mr Crake is not turning his back on the industry, instead he is going back to his roots and launching the Barry Crake Cosmetic Academy.
He will be focusing on helping remove the scars of abused youngsters, domestic abuse victims and cancer patients.
“Tattoo removal won’t be my priority any more,” he said.
“Instead I am going to focus more on the people who need help through no fault of their own.
“I will also be making a wage again, and a proportion of each month’s earnings will go towards helping others.
“I’m really looking forward to the future and I would just like to thank my family for the wonderful support they have been.”
James Powell, a trustee for the HLT, said: “Barry has always been the main driving force behind the charity, which has allowed us to commence treatments for so many people.
“It is with regret that as a result of sustained interaction with all manners of clients and situations, often with those who have been subject to physical or mental abuse, that he has reluctantly resigned.”
He added: “We are delighted that Barry has said that he will continue, where time allows, to do fund-raising events for us in the future, and has indicated his ever lasting support for the charity which he initially founded.”