Pals raise aware­ness and cash in mem­ory of tragic Ash­leigh

Macclesfield Express - - BEFORE THE BENCH -

FRIENDS of a teenager who died from an over­dose are fundrais­ing to sup­port a char­ity ded­i­cated to the pre­ven­tion of young sui­cide.

Ash­leigh Bowes was just 14 when she was found dead at home in Mac­cles­field in 2014.

An in­quest con­cluded that Ash­leigh, who suf­fered from de­pres­sion, had taken her own life.

Now her close friends Ciara Mont­gomery, Sarah Hil­ton Watts and El­lie Banks have launched a fundrais­ing drive to sup­port the char­ity Papyrus, which pro­vides sup­port and ed­u­ca­tion in a bid to re­duce sui­cide in young peo­ple.

The trio, who at­tend Fal­li­b­roome Academy, are dou­bling their char­i­ta­ble ef­forts by do­nat­ing 12 inches of their hair to the Lit­tle Princess Trust, a char­ity which makes wigs for chil­dren bat­tling can­cer, and giv­ing spon­sor­ship cash to Papyrus.

The hair­cut will be tak­ing place at Wil­son’s Hair­dressers on Ch­ester Road on De­cem­ber 8, which would have been Ash­leigh’s 17th birth­day.

Ciara said: “Ash­leigh was a bright and bub­bly girl who is missed dearly ev­ery sin­gle day.

“This year, on what would have been Ash­leigh’s 17th birth­day, we have de­cided to cut 12 inches off of our hair and do­nate it to the Lit­tle Princess Trust.

“We are also rais­ing money for Papyrus in the hope that, with raised aware­ness, sto­ries like Ash­leigh’s will be­come less com­mon.

“Any money do­nated to­wards this cause would mean the world to us – but if you haven’t got much to spare that’s okay too. All we ask is that you help to spread aware­ness of the char­ity and the life-sav­ing work they do.

“We want to spread aware­ness and help re­duce the stigma around sui­cide and men­tal health.”

Ash­leigh’s mum Sue will be at the hair­cut to sup­port the girls.

She said: “It’s won­der­ful that the girls are do­ing this for two char­i­ties. The fact they’ve cho­sen what would have been Ash­leigh’s 17th birth­day re­ally keeps her mem­ory alive.

“It is so im­por­tant that we talk about men­tal health is­sues in young peo­ple, who are more likely to con­fide in their friends than fam­ily first, and make them aware of char­i­ties like Papyrus who of­fer sup­port and ad­vice.”

So far they have raised more than £1,700. To do­nate search Ciara& Sarah&El­lie at www. just­giv­ing.com.

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