Friends’ film tribute to Paddy

The late Paddy Kelly.
The late Paddy Kelly.

The friends of a young Strathfoyle man whose body was recovered from the Foyle earlier this year will this Friday, July 24, launch a new film promoting positive mental health and suicide awareness.

Paddy Kelly, aged 18, was retrieved from the river in February but sadly passed away after being taken to hospital.

Friends have since made a promotional ‘Life is Precious’ film that will be launched at a charity fight night at the Strathfoyle Youth Centre on Friday.

Eamonn O’Donnell, youth support worker with the Break Out Project Enagh Youth Forum, said: “The effects of this film will be invaluable.

“It will be an ongoing resource to help young people. “It will develop the video skills of those involved, and it will reach the right people in the format they relate best to.

“Hopefully it will help young people to realise there is help out there.

“It’s a very sensitive issue but we need to get people talking.

“The message is that it’s okay to talk.”

The launch is part of the Strathfoyle Charity Boxing event which has been planned and organised by young friends of Paddy.

They have been supported by Strathfoyle Community Association as this is the main event of the Association’s Strathfoyle Community Festival week.

The event has already been sold out with all proceeds due to be donated to Foyle Search and Rescue and Youthlife.

Enagh Youth Forum received £10,000 for their ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ summer intervention project from the Big Lottery Fund ‘Awards for All’ Programme, which promotes young people’s mental health and explores suicide awareness.

As well as the short film the project has involved a range of workshops including team building, self-esteem and confidence building, activities including outdoor pursuits, motivational interviewing and counselling.

Paddy’s young friends were included in making the video, which will feature young people’s personal memories of their late friend.

After the launch young people from the project plan to show it at youth clubs and schools all over the North West.

It will also be published on YouTube and shared on social media.

Joanne McDowell, Big Lottery Fund NI Director, said: “The Big Lottery Fund’s NI Awards for All programme funds health, education, environment and community projects that help people bring about positive change in their lives, improve health and well-being, develop skills and create safer communities.

“The application process is simple and accessible and shall remain so, making it easy for applicants to successfully apply for small pots of funding that can have such a big impact on local communities and lives.”