The Kris Boyd Charity is now one year old and it’s been a fantastic opening 12 months for everyone involved. Kris, his family, Trustees and the rest of the team have been overwhelmed with the support and generosity from all over the UK, particularly in Ayrshire and West of Scotland.
Scottish football has given its full endorsement to what Kris is trying to achieve and everyone at Kilmarnock FC has backed the Charity with their time, effort and donations.
The foundations have been put down and we now look to make 2019 and even bigger and better year for the Charity as we plan to expand and offer more services, whether its helping to raise Mental Health awareness and also with financial help to various charities, businesses and support groups.
We are proud of the efforts so far and thanks to public generosity we have raised in excess of £110,000 from Events and Donations. Through Donald MacNaughton’s excellent knowledge and work, we have put on 10 ‘Calm Your Mind’ wellness workshops around the country for adults. The feedback from the sessions has been first class.
Kris and Andy McLaren have visited 14 schools in Ayrshire and Glasgow to deliver Mental Health talks to teenage pupils. We have also been involved with Corporate Businesses in their Mental Health Programmes for employees.
The donations have allowed us to give financial contributions to The Little Art School in Ayrshire to help the development of children and also The Samaritans.
Once again, a massive thanks to all individuals and businesses who’ve made donations to our Charity and sponsored our events, in particular, Kilmarnock FC, QTS, Billy Bowie Tankers, AS Scaffolding, Brownings The Bakers, William Hill, William Tracey Group, AM Sports (Fife), Ken Binnie Financial, Checcini’s Restaurants, Trump Turnberry, Tennent’s, Mr Singh’s, Kilmarnock Tyres, Joe Walker Flooring and Carrington Mortgages UK.
Why I Started the Charity
By Kris Boyd
My wee brother Scott tragically took his own life in September, 2016 and it has left my family devastated. There’s not a day goes by when I don’t think about him and I know it’s even worse for my parents, I feel for them even more as they try to get on with their lives as best they can without Scott being a part of it.
Is the reason I’ve set up The Kris Boyd Charity solely down to what happened to Scott? No. Is it a big part of the reason? Yes.
To be hit with Scott’s tragedy was a big wake-up call for me which led me to start looking into the different circumstances as to why people commit suicide. It is clear to me now that any given individual doesn’t wake up one morning and, on a whim, decide to end it all. It’s a gradual process which takes place over a period of time. My own wife, Christine, suffers from anxiety. Christine has had to fight internal battles that led to her being unable to do certain things over the years and I did not deal with them properly. I was not fully aware of what she was going through and still goes through on a daily basis, I should have been there for her, been more comforting and understanding. I’m the first to admit I’ve had my failings when trying to deal with Christine’s battles with anxiety, however, I am now listening and I’m learning. It is absolutely vital to do both and this is what I want to impart on those who are living with someone suffering from depression or anxiety.
During my career I have moved around a lot, from Ayrshire to Middlesbrough to Turkey and the USA which meant Christine was bringing up our two daughters on her own and I was not there to be a hands-on father and husband. I was not there on a daily basis, doing the things all families do and sharing the parental responsibilities. Life is not a bed of roses for sports personalities as much as one you believe, with this charity I want to aim to end the stigma with sports and mental health.
What I Am Aiming To Do
Our NHS provides a fantastic service but they can’t be there every minute of every day and lots of people don’t want to admit to be suffering from stress or feeling anxious. Many prefer to cover it up or keep it to themselves and are too afraid to ask for help due to the stigma attached to mental health issues. It’s when they continue to hide it, not talk about it and not ask for proper medical attention, that it can lead to the suicidal thoughts.
The aim of this charity is to educate people and get people to engage with others when they are in need of help instead of dismissing them or brushing of their feelings as being “weak”. We hope that, in time, society can speak openly when they have issues, it’s about them knowing there will be someone there for them who will show decency and a level of understanding. With young people today mental health is being an ever prevalent issue, due to teenagers being so focused on their phones and social media instead of being active and socialising with their peers in person. This also leads to more online bullying as well as unrealistic beauty standards which add mounting pressure on young people, and can lead to mental health issues.
This Charity is not prescribing medication and we can’t cure all the ills, but we care, and we are constantly trying to gain a better understanding of Mental Health issues. We want to raise awareness as that is absolutely vital in tackling the stigma surrounding mental health and ultimately finding better solutions to mental health issues.
I want this Charity to help my parents, Brian and Maureen, find even a tiny bit of comfort. When I first mentioned to my mum the idea of doing this she wasn’t keen. Then, the next day she phoned me and asked if I’d started the ball rolling because she was now right behind it. She summed it perfectly and said that if the charity can help even just one parent avoid what she and my dad have been through then it will be worthwhile.
With your help and understanding, collectively, we can make it happen.
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