Andrew Houston, owner of Donegal Airsoft and Donegal Ice Skating in Newtowncunningham, has organised a ‘Giving Back Free Sunday Fun Day’ in memory of his friend, Lyndsey Clarke, who he sadly lost to suicide 11 years ago at just age 17.
Since posting the event on Facebook Andrew has had a huge response and word of the event has spread, he said: “I really can’t get over the response I have had, people are stopping me and wishing me good luck for the day and even giving donations!”
The event has a lot of significance for Andrew and he feels lucky to now be in a position to give back and raise awareness for an issue close to his heart: “Losing a friend at such a young age is something that will always stay with me and has had a massive influence on the decisions in my life since.”

“Sometimes business or work can be all about making money to pay the bills, forgetting the family or friends that need a helping hand. I am lucky enough to be able to organize this Free Sunday Fun Day in memory of Lyndsey, not only to give people a great day out but also to help raise awareness towards Aware who are available 24-hours a day.”

Andrew also had some advice for those who feel stressed or down: “I know there are plenty of young people out there that are feeling down or stressed with school, exams, college, subjects or what friends they have, the best advice I can give is that your life is only beginning, don’t get stressed out because there are plenty of good times in front of you, no matter what decisions you make.”

‘Giving Back Free Sunday Fun Day’ will be held on May 11th in Newtowncunningham from 12.00pm – 6.00pm and activities available in Donegal Airsoft and Donegal Ice Skating will be FREE of charge for that time.

All donations made on the day will go towards Aware – a vital service for those suffering from depression, Aware relies on public donations and fundraising for more than 80% of their annual funding.

Everyone is welcome to attend this event and there is no pressure to make a donation on the day.

Andrew also expressed his gratitude to his staff and the family of Lyndsey Clarke: “I would just like to say thanks to my great staff who are all volunteering on the day, and a special thanks to the Clarke family for all their help.”

If you are a business and you would like to add to the activities offered on the day for FREE contact Andrew by e-mail: [email protected]

If you feel you need to contact Aware or you are concerned about someone you know, you can reach them on their confidential helpline – 1890 303 302, or you can e-mail them at [email protected], their e-mail is manned by trained Aware volunteers during office hours (Monday-Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm), this service is completely secure with each e-mail encrypted. Visit http://www.aware.ie/ for more information.

By Grace Mills

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