THE grieving family and friends of a young woman with mental health problems have organised a ball in her memory.

Cara Firmin, originally of Staindrop, near Barnard Castle, suffered with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) but always put others first as an “incredibly giving and caring person”.

The 24-year-old attended Teesdale YMCA as a teenager and became a volunteer herself as soon as she turned 18.

At 19 she went to the University of Chester to study youth work, and supported fellow undergraduates as a hall warden at their Warrington Campus, where she stayed.

Despite being unable to complete her degree because of her mental health problems, Miss Firmin gained a Higher National Diploma and even devised a self-help book for others suffering from BDP.

After finishing university, Miss Firmin stayed in Warrington and was under the care of the Warrington Assessment and Home Treatment Team for periods between hospital admissions.

Her mother, Kathryn Walker, said her “beautiful” daughter “became their ‘expert by experience’,” as they tried to come up with a new care plan for BPD sufferers and Miss Firmin’s self-help book was even published by the NHS.

Sadly, she died in May, 2017 following a suspected overdose.

Mrs Walker said her daughter’s passing had left “a hole in the hearts of her many friends and family”.

She said: “Despite her own problems, Cara always put others first.

“She achieved some wonderful things in her short life and has left a lasting legacy.”

Mrs Walker added: “Ultimately, Cara’s legacy is one of selflessness and devotion to helping others.

“She was never ashamed of her mental health issues and inspired others to feel the same.

“She was a proud sister and has left behind two even prouder sisters. Her generosity and warmth are still felt and her beaming smile sorely missed.”

Now, the whole community is preparing to come together to throw a Tinkerbell Ball to celebrate Miss Firmin’s life and legacy and to raise awareness of mental health.

Named after her love of the Disney character, Tinkerbell, Mrs Walker said her daughter “truly resonated with Tinkerbell’s independent, stubborn, and fiercely loyal personality”.

The ball, which has been organised by Miss Firmin’s friend and fellow YMCA worker, Natasha Bree, will be held on Saturday, October 14, at the TCR Hub, in Barnard Castle – a building Miss Firmin helped plan and design as a young person.

The event, with optional black tie, will be raising funds for the charities, MIND - which helps people with their mental health and If U Care, Share - which supports families affected by suicide.

Guests can enjoy live music, a disco and raffle, from 7pm as well as learning more about Miss Firmin and the charities themselves.

Tickets cost £20 and can be purchased by emailing or directly at the TCR Hub by calling 01833-690150 and asking for Rachel Tweddle.

For more information about Mind visit or call 0300-1233393 or for If U Care, Share - visit or call 0191-3875661.