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Bereaved father to host charity raffle

“If the money raised from my raffle can help even one person who is contemplating suicide, then it is absolutely worthwhile…”

These are the words of heartbroken father, Norman Donnell of Newtownstewart who is embarking on a poignant mission this summer to raise as much money as possible for mental health charity, ‘Suicide Awareness & Support Group’ after losing his beloved “wee daughter” to suicide.

Norman’s daughter, Christina Mary McKinney passed away five years ago after a silent, yet unrelenting, battle with depression.

Heralded as a ‘kind, caring, and hard-working young woman’, Christina was 22-years-old, and a doting mother of two young children, Declan and Sophie.

Speaking this week to the UH, Norman described his raffle – of which the star prizes are a Massey Ferguson 35X tractor and a brand new Quadzilla quad – as his way of helping those in the community struggling with poor mental health.

“There are still lots of questions to be answered, and questions to be asked regarding mental health,” Norman said. “We all thought Christina was doing well, and had found her happy place after settling down with her children.

“She was a wee girl who loved her children and her work at the City Hospital.” Norman added, “But how do you know that someone is having suicidal thoughts? The reality is: You don’t.

“And I truly wish that no-one else in this world has to go through what I have been through.

“That is why I hope that the raffle will not only encourage conversations surrounding mental health, but can also show others out there suffering that there is hope. There is always light…A way forward…A plan B. No matter how bad things may seem.

“I wish everyone the best of luck who takes part in the raffle, and many thanks to everyone who has bought their ticket so far.”

Norman hopes that his raffles will take place during a social event at the Silverbirch Hotel in July. Details of the draw can be found on Facebook.

If you would like to take part in Norman’s fundraising raffle, please contact Norman on 07543242055. Tickets cost £30 each.
Tickets can also be purchased by using PayPal to send money to Norman’s email address: normandonnell24@gmail.com

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