Van artist creates 'most emotional picture' over teen suicide

Muddy Ruddy in front of his new mural.

Muddy Ruddy said this was the most emotional piece he has made. - Credit: Muddy Ruddy

A Norfolk artist said he was moved to tears after he created a piece of artwork to highlight the issue of teenage suicide.

Ruddy Muddy, who uses the grime on vans as his canvas, has created a mural paying tribute to Jessica Collins, a 14-year-old girl from Hopton who took her own life in 2016.

The artist was contacted by Jessica's mother, Lee-Anne, and the pair agreed on a mural raising awareness for the Jessica Collins Foundation, the Three Dads Walking charity and Papyrus UK Suicide Prevention.  

Muddy Ruddy's latest mural

Muddy Ruddy's latest mural is raising awareness of teen suicide. - Credit: The Jessica Collins Foundation

Ruddy Muddy, who is based in Wicklewood, said: "It's probably the most emotional picture I have done.

"It really did have me in tears while I was doing it.

"It meant a lot to me.

"My children are 17, 19 and 22 and a couple of them have had mental health problems in the past.

"The thought of it going just a few levels further and a young person could do something so sad is very upsetting.

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"I hope this brings more publicity for them and more people use the service they provide.

"It's a wonderful thing they do."

Jessica Collins, 14, took her own life in 2016.

Jessica Collins, 14, took her own life in 2016 - Credit: Submitted

Mrs Collins, who has been campaigning to raise awareness of teen suicide since the loss of her daughter, said: "I'm so grateful.

"When I asked Ruddy to do the piece, he didn't hesitate.

"And the artwork is incredible.

"Someone may see that, and it could save a life.

"It might help a parent talk to their child, or a child talk to their parent.

"I want to raise as much awareness as I can and do as much work as I can in Jessica's name.

"We've got to raise awareness together."

Tim Owen, Mike Palmer and Andy Airey will be walking 300 miles for their daughters Emily, Beth and Sophie.

Tim Owen, Mike Palmer and Andy Airey will be walking 300 miles for their daughters Emily, Beth and Sophie, who took their own lives. - Credit: PAPYRUS

The Three Dads Walking charity have recently trekked 300 miles in memory of their daughters who also took their own lives.

Tim Owen, from Shouldham, walked for suicide prevention charity Papyrus, alongside Mike Palmer, from Manchester, and Andy Airey, from Cumbria, for their daughters Emily, Beth and Sophie, who all took their own lives.

The mural took just over two days to create, and the van is currently based at the artist's home and will remain in place until it is washed off.

The latest mural by Muddy Ruddy.

To donate £10 to Three Dads Walking text 3dads to 70085. - Credit: The Jessica Collins Foundation


· Signs that someone could be thinking of suicide can be categorised in three areas; an historic or recent adverse experience of an event, a change in normal actions or behaviours and the use of words that suggest they are struggling.

· Talk to the person if you feel that suicide could be being considered. Share your concerns and reflect on what you see or hear. If still concerned, ask them clearly and directly if they are thinking about suicide and encourage them to seek professional support.

· Do not assume. If you are concerned that suicide is being considered don’t ignore what you see, hear or feel. Don’t label someone as “not the type” or assume they will not act on the thoughts. Take every sign seriously.

· Get help. For practical, confidential suicide prevention support and advice for yourself or anyone else, please contact PAPYRUS HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039967 or email