Brother pays tribute after death of Peterborough man and insists ‘it’s ok not to be ok’

The brother of a Peterborough man who died last week has paid tribute to his ‘best friend’ and issued a message that ‘it’s ok not to be ok.’
Kevin McSwiggan and his brother Matthew.Kevin McSwiggan and his brother Matthew.
Kevin McSwiggan and his brother Matthew.

Kevin McSwiggan (40) died at his home on London Road last Wednesday (December 30) after what his family have described as a three to four year battle with his own mental health.

Kevin and his brother Matthew were born in Peterborough and Kevin continued to live in the city throughout his life.

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Kevin leaves behind his two children Alfie (4) and Niamh (9).

Kevin with his daughter Niamh.Kevin with his daughter Niamh.
Kevin with his daughter Niamh.

He was a lifelong Tottenham Hotspur fan and a popular figure, with a large group of friends.

He would frequently socialise at the Cross Keys and Yard of Ale pubs in Woodston, as well as the Fletton Ex-Service & Working Men’s Club, where he was a member.

He also made a number of contacts throughout his time spent abroad in Ibiza and Cyprus over the course of 16 years as a holiday rep for Thomson Holidays.

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Kevin then went on to work as a crisis manager for Thomas Cook. It was his job to liaise with families who had experienced tragedy during a holiday and he was one of a team that travelled over to support those affected by the shooting on a Tunisian beach that saw 30 British tourists killed in 2015.

Kevin and friends.Kevin and friends.
Kevin and friends.

This urge to help people also carried over into his life outside work and saw him regularly volunteering his time to help those less fortunate than himself.

Matthew said: “Kev did a lot for people, for the past 12 months he would spend time helping elderly residents to paint and decorate their homes.

“He also found a homeless man on the streets, helped him to find a flat and filled his cupboards with food for him.

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“That was the kind of man he was, he was always there for everyone and he was the life and soul of the party.

“Unfortunately, he just couldn’t help himself.

“He was a beautiful human, who helped so many and he was my best friend as well as my brother.

“Since I posted about it on Facebook, I’ve had over 1000 personal messages, which just shows what a lovely human he was and I’m touched that so many people have reached out.

“His last few years were a battle and the message I want to give people is that it’s ok not to be ok.

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“Please open up to people, speak to friends, family or professionals and don’t turn to any other outlets such as drink or drugs.

“Kev also used to say healthy body, healthy mind and cry when you need to cry, I just hope others can take his advice.”