Finn, Chloe and Eden Heaslip

Stick with anti-bullying message

SingForMe, a local music festival aimed at promoting positive mental health, has been postponed over concerns about social gatherings, but the energy behind it will be directed to another initiative.

The concert was to be held in memory of Eden Heaslip, a young man who passed away in tragic circumstances. All funds raised were earmarked for suicide prevention and bullying awareness campaigns.

Organiser and activist Leanne Coyle said they are still looking for people to get behind a worthy campaign: “We had to think of other ways to raise money for the Heaslip’s bullying awareness campaign. Eden was big into his cars, so we have designed a car window sticker. All the funds raised will go to the Eden Heaslip fund.”

Leanne speaks of the support for the sticker campaign: “The stickers are available to buy in shops all across Cavan. There has been a great reaction so far, shops have contacted us to stock them.”

Printed by Pauric Delaney the sticker has a clear message: “The sticker has Eden’s name on it. The tag is ‘be buddies, not bullies’. We wanted something that was recognisable and emphasise the anti-bullying message.”

Eden’s sister, Chloe Heaslip, said the alternative fundraiser is apt. “Eden had a Lexus and a Seat Leon. Cars were his world. Leanne came up with the idea of the car stickers, people can stick them in their window and it will raise awareness. Pauric has made up the stickers, he’s a Denn man as well,” Chloe told theCelt.

The stickers are not the only venture being undertaken. Chloe’s brother, Finn, and some of his friends are to wax, dye or shave their hair to raise money to start an Irish Anti-Bullying Charity in Eden’s name. That campaign has already raised over €6,000 in five days.

“It has kind of gone bigger than we expected,” Chloe says of the support for the fundraiser. “It’s really about raising awareness. There is no dedicated anti-bullying support group in Ireland. We, as a family, want to make every effort to ensure that what happened to Eden does not happen again. If we can make a difference for one person then it will ease our pain just a little bit. That is what we want to do with the fundraising, the waxing, shaving, concerts or stickers. It keeps us busy.”

Chloe speaks of how the family are coping. “Coming up to Christmas it’s difficult,” she says, “It is overwhelming the amount of public support we received. The issue really connects with people. It’s not just one stand out thing. I think everyone has experienced some sort of bullying in their life.”

Stickers are €5 each and can be purchased online by visiting the SmileForMe Facebook page.

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