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I have finally found peace, says suicide campaign mum

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Alex (10) and Joanne Featherston, Suicide Awareness Campaigners.

Alex (10) and Joanne Featherston, Suicide Awareness Campaigners.

Andy Morgan

Andy Morgan

Alex (10) and Joanne Featherston, Suicide Awareness Campaigners.

A mother who lost her partner to suicide more than three years ago has said this is the first Christmas she is not dreading.

Father-of-three Andy Morgan (inset) died tragically in the early hours of January 1, 2011, leaving behind his partner Joanne Fetherston and their three children, Leanne (19), Alex (11) and Jamie (8).

His family and friends set up the Andy Morgan Foundation after his death to spread the message of hope to everyone who lost someone to suicide.

Ms Fetherston said facing his anniversary has got easier since they've started to support other families.

"The first few years were dreadful coming up to Christmas, but I don't feel that this year," she said.

"I have found much peace within my own heart that I know Andy is alright. If I'm happy it makes the kids happy.

"I'm actually looking forward to Christmas this year. Helping other families makes me feel like we are not the only ones going through this."

Courage

The devoted mother said she takes most of her courage from daughter Alex, who has spearheaded a campaign to help other families who have lost a parent to suicide.

Last August, the Santry schoolgirl told about her experience in a YouTube video in the hope it would encourage parents to be honest with their children when it came to discussing suicide.

Alex s also selling pink wristbands the #isupportalex hashtag and is using the €2,500 raised from the sales and other events to give other families a Christmas treat.

So far 15 families will receive a hamper filled with goodies including family cinema passes, meal vouchers, annual zoo passes and Christmas pyjamas and selection boxes for each child.

"We asked Alex what she wanted the money used for, she said on fun things for the children, not vouchers for the parent," Ms Fetherston continued.

To make a donation to the Andy Morgan Foundation, or the Christmas hampers, visit its Facebook page - The Andy Morgan Foundation Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Awareness - or contact Angie on 085 2095169 or mcevoy_7@hotmail.com

hnews@herald.ie


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