Fundraiser will support Lanarkshire charity in memory of tragic Hamilton teen

People across Lanarkshire are being urged to take part in a new initiative set up in memory of a Hamilton teenager who died suddenly, aged just 14.

Mum of tragic Kyle Stevens who died in 2019, Alison Larkin, is working with charity FAMS (Families Affected by Murder and Suicide) in a bid to kickstart the new ‘Kyle’s 18 Acts of Kindness’ project across the region.

The initiative will take place throughout March in what would have been Kyle’s 18th birthday month and asks people to simply carry out 18 sponsored random acts of kindness – not only in memory of Kyle, but also in a bid to raise awareness of mental health issues and suicide.

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Kyle’s mum Alison told Lanarkshire Live: : “On March 23, 2019, our son Kyle Stevens, a student at Hamilton Grammar and Calderside Academy before that, took his own life four days before his fifteenth birthday.

“On March 27 this year, he would have turned 18.

“Kyle’s dad and I want to mark his birthday in a way that matches his compassionate spirit properly. We have come up with an idea all Lanarkshire communities can benefit from being a part of and we hope you will consider getting involved with as we believe this is a valuable activity for all to embrace.”

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Kyle would have turned 18 this month

‘Kyle’s 18 Acts of Kindness’ initiative is simple; do nice things – 18 nice things to be exact – throughout the month of March. And it’s designed as a sponsorship activity, to help raise much needed funds for FAMS.

Alison added: “A sponsorship form template, further information on FAMS and a link to the JustGiving page will be provided for anyone interested in getting involved, along with a bingo card of ideas to help get you started.

“There are ideas to suit every age and ability such as help a sibling with their homework or arrange a bake sale. And of course, original ideas are encouraged.

“We are inviting participants to share their videos, stories and photos along the way to show just how powerful and infectious kindness can be.

“Anyone can join in – on your own, with siblings, classmates, friends, colleagues or parents.

“Whether you choose to participate as a tribute to Kyle, whether you have your own personal connection to mental health and suicide or you are just looking to put some positive energy into the world when we need it most, you are most welcome.

“Nothing improves our own mental health as quickly as helping others does.”

FAMS are a Lanarkshire-based charity currently providing vital support to those families and friends affected by suicide, as well as those experiencing suicidal thoughts and behaviours.

They do this through lived experience peer support, 1:2:1 counselling, additional therapies and group sessions and a chat line currently operating seven days a week between 10am and 10pm.

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For further details please contact Alison at FAMS on 01698 249 443 or by email at [email protected]

Anyone needing help with suicidal thoughts can call the Samaritans on 116 123.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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