North East charity teams up with Durham hotel to create new cocktail to promote mental health and wellbeing

A charity based in the North East has partnered up with a hotel in Durham to raise funds with a new cocktail named after the founder’s brother who tragically took his life aged 19.

The Indigo Hotel in Durham has launched new cocktail, Dan’s Daiquiri as part of a partnership with Chester-le-Street based charity If U Care Share, which offers mental health and suicide awareness services across the country.

Dan’s Daiquiri cocktail has been named in memory of Daniel O’Hare, after he took his own life at the age of 19 without any prior warnings to his family.

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His brother Matthew Smith launched If U Care Share as a registered charity in 2011 with his brother Ben and cousin Sarah.

Matthew Smith with Dan's Daiquiri, named after his brother who took his own life at 19.

Matthew recently gave a workshop to Indigo staff on mental health awareness and suicide prevention and general manager of the Hotel, Tom Orange said it benefited his staff ‘hugely’.

He said: “It’s all about raising awareness and helping people understand each others situations – and it’s started a conversation and that’s so important.

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"Our management team also took a mental health course and it’s been brilliant. We want to support If U Care Share with Matthew and the team because it’s not like a corporate charity, it’s like a family, we work together and if we can start that conversation and save lives then that’s what it’s all about.”

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Matthew with his mum Shirley.

The hotel, which is the former Durham County Council headquarters on Old Elvet, is also offering a mocktail version named The Not So Irish, Irish cream and along with Dan’s Daiquiri, will donate £2 from each cocktail to If U Care Share.

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Matthew said: “The charity has expanded over the years and it’s great to have everyone at the Hotel on board, not just for the fundraising but to get more people involved in the charity and hopefully inform more people about what we do.

"We still have no answer as to why Dan took his own life, it’s something we’ve struggled with like many other bereaved families, so what started out to save just another family from suffering a similar experience has turned into supporting lots of people bereaved by suicide while also offering intervention services to prevent others taking their own lives.

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"We just want as many people to know that we can help.”

The Not So Irish, Irish cream mocktail and Dan’s Daiquiri.
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Matthew (left) with Manager Tom Orange, Food and beverages manager Kirsty Worne (left) and Matthew's mum Shirley.