The project was sparked by the tragic death of 37-year-old Peterhead mother-of-two, Shirley McCombie, who took her own life last August after a long battle with mental health issues.
But in the years to come, the efforts of her family and friends to create a lasting tribute to her could help save the lives of other people struggling to cope.
Loved ones of the the former nursery teacher in Ellon have raised nearly £40,000 to create a mental health drop-in centre in her memory in Aberdeenshire.
The group, which is determined to help people suffering from social isolation, depression and other conditions, has planned an opening event for ‘Shirley’s Space’ at the Crimond Medical and Community Hub next month.
In the first few weeks after Mrs McCombie’s death, her family launched the initiative to ensure others would be spared similar heartbreak.
They are now seeking charity status for the new organisation, which will help people struggling with mental health issues across the north east.
Mrs McCombie’s nephew, Cameron Findlay, a 20-year-old student, has been at the forefront of the development, which will be formally unveiled on August 22, which is the anniversary of his aunt’s death.
He spoke yesterday about how he had been “overwhelmed” by the response from so many individuals and businesses throughout the region.
Mr Findlay said: “We knew that many people were stunned by Shirley’s death.
“The way in which they have rallied round to make Shirley’s Space happen has been inspirational.
“There have been lots of donations on the JustGiving page and we held an auction at Peterhead FC last Christmas, which raised more than £15,000.
“So many folk have dug deep to help.
“We plan to launch a text message service and social media interaction which will be there for people who need it.
“We are also planning to open the drop-in service, which will initially be for a limited amount of days a week. Hopefully we can expand that in the future.
“I think we knew that Shirley was loved, but we have been overwhelmed by everything that has happened since last summer.”
Mr Findlay has been in contact with a variety of different organisations in Peterhead and the surrounding area and his findings have convinced him of the pressing need for places like Shirley’s Space.
He added: “I went to the Citizens Advice Bureau in the town and they told me that one in two of their referrals have their roots in mental health issues. It is that widespread.
“The NHS is a great organisation and it does a fantastic job, but sometimes there are people who fall through the gaps and there isn’t anybody there to help them.
“We want to provide a safety net in the future. I can’t think of a greater legacy for Shirley than doing that.”
The public will have the opportunity to learn more about Shirley’s Space at the Crimond Medical and Community Hub on Thursday August 22 from 6pm.