Love Island's Zara Holland and Malin Andersson pay touching tributes to Sophie Gradon on the first anniversary of her tragic death

LOVE Islanders Zara Holland and Malin Andersson have paid tribute to Sophie Gradon on the first anniversary of her death.

The former contestant, who appeared on the 2016 series of the dating show, was found hanged at her home in Ponteland, Northumberland, last year.

Taking to Instagram this morning, beauty queen Zara shared a series of pictures of them together and wrote: "Your always in my thoughts every day gorgeous girl.

"I can’t believe it’s a year since you went to heaven. Love you always. Sending all my love to your family and friends."

Malin, who was also very close to the late reality star, wrote: "RIP to the most beautiful soul and friend Sophie Gradon.. miss you so much. Please all look after each other up there."

The official Love Island Instagram page shared a picture of Sophie captioned: "In loving memory of Sophie Gradon (1985-2018), missed but never forgotten."


Thomas Powell, who was coupled up with Sophie on the show, shared a picture of them together and simply wrote: "1 year!" alongside a heart.

An inquest found Sophie hanged herself after taking a cocktail of booze and cocaine on 20th June, 2018.

Her parents Deborah and Colin Gradon have however rejected the inquest and instead say their "beloved" daughter had an undiagnosed brain condition that causes irrational thoughts.

They say this would have had a "severe and brutal impact" on Sophie in the months leading to her tragic death last June.

And they also dispute medical evidence showing she had taken cocaine.

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1 year.. ❤️

A post shared by Thomas Powell (@iamthomaspowell) on

1 year.. ❤️

A post shared byThomas Powell (@iamthomaspowell) on


Sophie, who was battling depression, was found by her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong at her parent's home in Northumberland last summer.

He frantically performed CPR on her for 15 minutes but she was sadly unable to be saved.

Aaron, 25, hanged himself five days after her funeral having taken a similar cocktail of cocaine and booze, a separate inquest was told last month.

Sophie’s death, which took place during the last series of Love Island, rocked the nation and led to calls for better aftercare on the show.

Mike Thalassitis, 26, – who also appeared on the show – took his own life after consuming cocaine and alcohol in March of this year.

Ahead of this year’s show ITV confirmed they will give contestants "enhanced psychological support" and "a proactive aftercare package".

They said there will be more detailed conversations with potential Islanders regarding the impact of participation on the show.

There will also be bespoke training for all Islanders on social media and financial management, which extends support to all Islanders following their participation.

YOU'RE NOT ALONE

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
  • Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123

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