Tragic Sheffield farm volunteer took his own life

A tragic Sheffield man took his own life at a bridge in the city, a coroner has concluded.

Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 3:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 4:20 pm

Philip Ridsdale, aged 35, was reported missing from his home in the Highfields area on Friday, March 27 after he didn't return home from his job as a volunteer at Heeley City Farm.

His body was discovered by police at the bridge at 12.20pm the next day, and he was pronounced dead by paramedics.

Assistant coroner Tanyka Rawden recorded a finding of suicide after she reopened the inquest in Sheffield, on Wednesday.

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Mr Risdale was passionate about wildlife and volunteered with the youth and animal team at Heeley City Farm for more than 20 years

A police investigation found no evidence of suspicious activity and nothing to suggest anybody else was involved.

The inquest heard Mr Ridsdale contacted his GP in 2009 after feeling low and stressed at work, but he decided that he didn't need medication and would "get better himself."

Mrs Rawden summarised a statement from his mother, who said he didn't have any health problems, as far as she knew, and that he "hardly ever went to the doctor."

"He was thinking about going away before the lockdown," the assistant coroner read. "It didn't seem to bother him that he was unable to do that."

Mr Ridsdale was described as " a lovely man who was cared for by many and would do anything for anybody."

Mrs Rawsden said: "I am truly sorry for the loss and I can't imagine what his family have been going through.

"I offer everyone who knew and loved him my sincere condolences."

Mr Risdale was passionate about wildlife and volunteered with the youth and animal team at Heeley City Farm for more than 20 years.

A spokesperson on the farm’s Facebook page said: “Phil, 'Flip' or 'Twitch', had many passions which he became an expert in, including bird watching, photography, wildlife identification, animal husbandry, farming, and in recent years even Pokémon Hunting.

They said that Philip had had a ‘huge positive impact’ on young volunteers over the years, teaching them about wildflowers, birds and passing on expertise.

You can read more about the tributes paid to Mr Risdale here.