Safaplace: Stoke Newington community raises money and awareness for mental health charity in memory of Harry Lisle and Rachel Finke
- Credit: Holly Chant
Neighbours raised £3,000 for a mental health charity founded by two Stoke Newington mums in memory of their children.
The cash for Safaplace came from a football fun day and barbecue organised by Jeniffer Cullen, who wanted to bring the community together and raise awareness about mental health. Jeniffer presented the cheque to one of the charity's founders Rose White on Friday.
Rose White and Sarah Finke set up the charity after both losing children to suicide a few years ago, Rose's son Harry Lisle and Sarah's daughter Rachel Finke were in the same year at Stoke Newington School.
Head of year Michael Collins told the Gazette:"I've been to another school that's had a suicide and they've gone: 'Why would you talk about that?'
"We've had two and our response was to get out there and talk about it because we don't want it to happen again."
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He added the school was doing all it could, through mental health initiatives and working with Safaplace, to improve students' wellbeing.
Rose praised the school and the community for their support after losing her son and for helping raise so much money for the charity.
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"We really need to make it OK to talk about [mental health]," She said.
Recently, Jeniffer lost a loved one to suicide and plans to organise a similar event next year.
"[Getting] kids to be active is a very good thing," she said.
"That's why I decided to do the football fun day. It was all about fun. The whole day long playing football - and it did bring the whole community together because we're still talking about it now."
The Hackney women's football league the Super5League helped organise the event, which was sponsored by Army and Navy pub governor Jimmy Dunne.
Jeniffer added: "The community was so good. All the local shops, bars and restaurants gave vouchers. People from the school gave little treats. Jim gave the trophies, a television was auctioned off as well - and again it was all local people in here buying raffle tickets, bidding on the television, counting sweets in the bottle."