A COMMUNITY has shown its support for a devastated family after the loss of a much-loved son.
Friends and strangers have raised more than £8,000 to pay for the funeral of 27-year-old David Shipp, whose sudden death has left everyone stunned.
Mum Debbie Shipp described her son as ‘a fun-loving, young man with a heart of gold’ and said no-one had seen the tragedy coming.
But she added that the outpouring of love for David had been overwhelming, and was helping her whole family cope.
David was found dead at his home in Essex Road, Southsea, on Sunday, March 6.
It is believed he took his own life.
Ms Shipp, 46, said: ‘He was just such a fun-loving young man with a heart of gold and he was always smiling.
‘He loved his family and friends, lived life to the full, and never, ever grumbled.
‘I have so many questions and no answers.’
The Brewers Arms and Meon Valley pubs have both held fundraisers to help the Shipp family afford a funeral and headstone.
Ms Shipp said that she is still receiving cards and flowers almost two weeks after her son’s death.
‘I just want to say thank you to everyone but saying it doesn’t seem to be enough,’ she said. I can’t put it into words – I am just so grateful for what they have done for David, me and his family.
‘The reaction from people has been overwhelming, and it would have been so much harder for us without their love and support.’
David, who was a lifelong Pompey fan, worked at Marlin Ribs boat manufacturers in Southsea.
Phil Carpenter, 29, of Powerscourt Road, in Copnor, had been friends with David since school.
He said losing him was like losing a brother.
He said: ‘We all grew up together around the same area and lived in the same road.
‘He was such a charming gentleman who would do anything for anyone – if you needed something he would give it to you.
‘When I lost my grandfather he was a pillar of support, I don’t know what I would have done without him.
‘We have a very close community, and this was absolutely gobsmacking for the whole area.
‘David never talked about being unhappy or depressed, so it came completely out of the blue.’
A Facebook page dedicated to David has now got more than 200 members.
His funeral will be held in St James Church, in Southsea, on Wednesday, March 30.
Pubs collect money for his funeral
TWO pubs raised thousands of pounds for David Shipp’s grief-stricken family.
Jo Clarke, landlady of the Brewers Arms, Southsea, said helping the family had been one of the best moments of her career.
Her pub held a raffle and auction on Saturday, March 12, raising £5,280 for David’s family, and the Meon Valley pub, Southsea, contributed an extra £3,200.
She said: ‘David was one of my regulars and was always here every Saturday without fail.
‘He spent his last night with us, and I feel very privileged for that. I’ve never had so much pleasure in my life than to do that for someone. It will never bring him back but it might make things easier for his family.
‘It was incredible how generous everyone was, and his mum, brother and step-dad were absolutely speechless.’
David’s friend Phil Carpenter said so many people turned out that the Brewers Arms nearly ran out of lager, adding: ‘I couldn’t believe it. It was amazing for his family to see how much everyone cared about him.’