‘... Christmas, it’s difficult!’
A campaign to raise awareness of the implications of bullying has had unprecedented public support. The family of Eden Heaslip, a young man who took his life after an unrelenting campaign of bullying, have organised a number of fundraisers in the last few weeks to campaign on the issue.
Chloe Heaslip and her brother, Finn, have both been instrumental to the cause. Finn and some of his friends have waxed, dye or shaved their hair to raise money to start an Irish Anti-Bullying Charity in Eden’s name. The campaign has already reached its €18,000 target.
“It has kind of gone bigger than we expected,” Chloe says of the support for the fundraiser.
“Over 40 people dyed their hair 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.”
The other initiative - the anti-bullying car sticker - is also being very well supported.
“We can’t keep the car stickers in stock. We are here in the house every evening cutting them up. They are in over 50 shops. They have gone worldwide, in New York, Australia, England and Holland.”
Chloe says the support for the shave or dye fundraiser was equally surprising: “Neighbours said they wanted to support, so we thought the gofundme page would be a way to start. Loads of people joined in, lads from Eden’s school, a friend’s granddad who is 83 dyed his hair, it has had unbelievable support.
“There is a demand there for some anti-bullying support. A lot of people are affected by it,” she tells.
Chloe speaks of how the family are coping: “Coming up to Christmas it’s difficult.
“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 experience some sort of bullying in their life, maybe not as severe as Eden, but it should be like that.”