Jamie Shuttleworth Born: April 18, 1992; Died: May 24, 2021.

JOURNALIST Jamie Shuttleworth had an engaging and impulsive sense of humour that quickly endeared him to colleagues and friends.  He also made an immediate mark professionally in the frenetic world of social media and deservedly enjoyed rapid promotion.

Jamie, who has died aged 29, had been Head of Social at Newsquest Scotland, publisher of The Herald and its sister papers, since last September, after having worked for STV and Reach’s Scottish titles in social media-focused roles. 

He made a positive impression on colleagues here with remarkable ease, at a time when everyone was having to work from home. Working closely with the editorial, marketing and commercial departments, he helped the company build a record digital audience.  However, it was as a loveable, likeable person that Jamie was probably best known – despite his great achievements in the digital world.

In her own tribute, Glasgow Times journalist Ruth Suter said: “Through the months we spent together as colleagues then best friends to boyfriend and girlfriend, Jamie built me up, giving me confidence and happiness that I have never experienced before.

“I’m incredibly proud to have called Jamie mine. He was my best friend, my rock and the most caring and loving person I ever met.”

HeraldScotland:

Mental health issues, and the need to address them, were forever important to Jamie. Less than a month ago, to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, he wrote a remarkably candid account of his own struggles. Its honesty is painful to read.

He wrote that he was just 15 when he first self-harmed, had often contemplated taking his own life, and that he had lived with depression and anxiety every day. He knew he came across as confident and outgoing, but “what you do not see is what goes on behind social media and away from groups of people”.

He ended his article with an appeal. You should do things for yourself, he counselled. Do not be afraid to be selfish with your time. Do what makes you happy. Check up on your friends. We all had to address the stigma surrounding men’s mental health, he believed.

Jamie Ellis Shuttleworth was born in Irvine in April 18, 1992, to parents Gerrard and Marina. He had a sister, Luca, and two brothers, Mason and Preston.

He was educated locally, with geography being an early interest of his.

In 2013 he began a Communication and Media Studies course at Glasgow Clyde College, though his first choice had been social sciences.  After a year he switched to City of Glasgow College, where he embarked on an HND Media and Communication course, and guested on the college’s City Radio Station. Football was his lifelong passion – he supported Kilmarnock FC – and he hosted a weekly football show on the station.

In 2018 he graduated with a first-class degree in Media and Communication from Glasgow Caledonian University. While there he played five-a-side football before the lockdown took effect, and captained of one of the university’s football teams.

His first job had been at the River Island store at Renfrew’s Braehead Shopping Centre, where he had become a supervisor after several years as a sales assistant.  One of his colleagues was Ashley McAdam.  

HeraldScotland:

“We were known as the Posh and Becks of Braehead”, she said, “because we always seemed to be wearing matching clothes.  “He always spoke to the customers and made them feel as if they had had a one-on-one with him. Someone who had been having a bad day would leave with a smile on his face.

“It was generally his personality that drew me to him to me at first. He took the time to get to know everyone and he had such a witty way with him. He could make anyone laugh. He would light up any room he walked into.

“We knew each other for 10 years but it wasn’t until we got together that I realised the extent of his mental health problems. But he was always advocating about mental health and the need for people to talk more openly about it, as is evident from his Twitter feed over the years. He always thought that if he could help one person with his mental health problem, than it would have been worth it.

“He had such amazing potential and I think that in 10 or 15 years Jamie would have been running the company. Because he was so likeable and so focused on his career, and because he was so good at his job, the world was his oyster. Hopefully, he would have still been playing football, too.

“When he was talking on video conferences he really knew his stuff but could make people laugh and had any number of anecdotes.  “He was the sort of person you wanted to listen to and engage with.You never knew what he was going to say next.

“I have so many amazing memories of my time with Jamie”, Ashley adds, “even from the time when we were just best friends”.   

But there were times when even his closest friends wondered if he had taken things too far. Once, he and his then partner, Ashley, were buying a car in a showroom. It required an electronic signature on a handheld device. Glimpsing some marks on its screen, Jamie looked at them closely. “Some ***** has written on it with a real pen”, he remarked jovially to the salesman.

There was a pause. “Actually, that ***** was me”, the salesman responded. “I did it by mistake the other day.”

“I’m cringing for my life,” Ashley says ruefully. “We had just got a good deal on this car and we’re insulting the poor guy. But Jamie could get out of any situation, that was the thing. He just had that way with him”.

Donald Martin, editor-in-chief at Newsquest Scotland, said: “Jamie was the type of person who lit up the news room, bringing enthusiasm, exuberance and energy. 

“His warm, engaging, outgoing personality quickly endeared him to all his colleagues. 

“He was a tremendous talent in the digital world of journalism and having made his mark at both the Daily Record and STV, we were lucky to bring him on board. 

“His skills, expertise and knowledge made a very significant contribution to Scottish media in such a short space of time.”


Where to get help:

SAMH gives mental health information and can direct you to local services. Call 0141 530 1000 or email enquire@samh.org.uk

If you need to talk, call Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87 or see www.breathingspace.scot

Families who need support after being bereaved by suicide can contact PETAL on 01698 324 502 or email info@petalsupport.com

Call Samaritans for free on 116 123 or email the charity at jo@samaritans.org.