Russ and I had been together for 22 years and married for nearly 14 years and have three children. Russ was a loving, kind and caring husband and Dad. He always had a positive outlook, was happy, had a great sense of humour and was fun loving. He had a healthy lifestyle, was laid back and easy going in nature and always managed stress well as he had an extremely busy and responsible position in the family company. When he was not at work he would always be at home with his family or playing golf, which was his passion. He had a wide circle of friends and colleagues and was loved by everyone who knew him.
He had worked at the family transport company (Devereux’s)) for 24 years and ran the company in recent years along with his Dad, Ken and uncle, Tony. He was very proud of the business that his Grandad had set up 70 years ago and it has a strong reputation for being one of the leading hauliers in the area.
Russ won a number of awards and was very proud of his team, winning UK Depot of the Year consecutively for 3 years on the run. Russ was dedicated to the company and worked very hard to maintain its high standards. He was well known and respected by the local business community. He had excellent working relationships with his staff, was always supportive and generous with his time despite the fact that he always had a busy workload of his own. Russ was a loyal supporter of a number of local charities and often took time out of his busy life to raised funds for the local causes.
In April 2018 an accident occurred involving one of their long serving employees and this had a catastrophic impact on him. He became anxious about the effect the accident might have on the Company and its reputation. He experienced difficulty sleeping and lost his appetite and in a matter of days became consumed with what I can now only describe as acute stress. Just 2 weeks after the accident occurred Russ took his own life. We as a family did not know how poorly he had become and how he was struggling mentally nor would ever have imagined he would take his own life.
Russ and I come from close families and I and our respective families have been devastated by what has happened. Russ had no medical history of suffering with anxiety or depression and it has shone a light on how complex and fragile our minds are or can be at any given time.
We are left heart broken by his loss as he was the centre of our lives. I will always love him and I have promised him that I will bring up our three girls so that they will always remember him and will know what an amazing human being he was.
The Russ Devereux ‘Headlight Project’ is Russ’s legacy and I know has brought much good to those in need. It is only because of the huge generosity, kind donations and funding received from various individuals and organisations that has helped me to make the Project a reality. Our three daughters contributed to the Project in creating the original logo with the help of a friend and which is displayed on the video on the right. It is a fitting tribute to Russ’ work in the family business.
If we can help children deal with trauma or any difficult situations that may affect them in their adult lives, work with adults and save one life in the process, we will have succeeded in our aims. It is hoped that the Headlight Project will provide ‘a guiding light when the road ahead is dark.’
I am eternally grateful to Maxine Alton who supported me on this journey and to Claire Jewson, Claire Cantwell and Cerys Overington who have joined us along the way. They are a very special team and I could not have done it without them.