A FAMILY say their lives have been shattered by the death of a much-loved mother and grandmother.

Sandra Whyte, who lived in Portslade and was an area manager of children’s homes, has died leaving her relatives, including three children, heartbroken.

Her daughter Chloe Whyte, 22, said: “On Friday, November 1, our hearts broke into a million pieces, the worst day of our lives had just started.

“Our mother Sandra had been struggling silently with her mental health which sadly led her to take her own life.”

The 41-year-old left behind her husband, Peter, as well as Chloe and her two brothers Chris, 17, and Charlie, seven.

She also had a granddaughter who Chloe said she “would always help out with and spoil rotten”.

Chloe said: “We will all remember our mother’s hysterical laugh and her big smile.

“Mum had such a big heart and always put other people first, she was very giving, loving and extremely supportive towards others.

“If you knew our mum then you’d know how much of a funny, caring and incredible person she was.”

Sandra was a big Disney fan and would “work extremely hard” so the Whyte family could visit Disney World on holiday.

Chloe said: “Her favourite character was Stitch (from the film Lilo and Stitch) and at times like this it really does make you realise that we all need to stick together.

“Like Stitch says, ‘Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten’.

“Our mother would want us to all stick together and be strong for her.”

Chloe said her mother was her best friend and the two would speak on the phone every day at 6pm, always joking that they were counting down the days until the weekend. Following her mother’s death, Chloe decided she wanted to raise awareness of mental health.

She said: “Our mother was very good at hiding her emotions. She was very happy and a bubbly person, you wouldn’t have known she was going to do what she did.

“We just wish that she was able to speak to us before it was too late. There will always be questions of what if and why but we need to remember that she was deeply suffering.

“If you are struggling with your mental health please speak to somebody, whether it is a stranger or a family member.

“Please seek help, because we couldn’t wish this to happen to anybody.

“We are all totally distraught and I wouldn’t want anybody else’s family to go through what we are currently feeling.”

Now Sandra’s family are trying to raise funds to give her “a proper send off, which she deserves” as well as “to make a memorial garden for her”.

A GoFundMe page called “In loving memory of Sandra Whyte” was set up by Chloe on Monday and asks people to make donations saying “even if it’s just £1, we would really appreciate it”.

Within two days the page had raised more than £1,260.