Sadly Laura Byrne, who grew up in the Kingsway ward passed away on Thursday 17th September. Laura was 20 years old and tragically took her own life. I knew Laura and although troubled she was a lovely, gentle person, who had much to offer. She was a member of the Labour Party and worked tirelessly for the party in the run up to the General Election. When we’d meet up she’d tell me that her dream was to work for the good of her community, had she lived I believe that she would have fulfilled that ambition.
Laura’s 23 year old sister has been left to pay for and organise her funeral. Residents of The Aves have rallied together, like the loving community they are, to raise the money to lay Laura to rest. Children in The Aves are washing cars and doing gardening, adults have done bucket collections in local pubs and they have set up an online donation page which at the time of writing has raised £773.00 in two days.
The Aves are really doing Laura and themselves proud as a community. I’ve spoken to some of the organisers and they are not only doing this to raise money for the funeral, their aim is to raise awareness about what is left behind when anyone commits suicide, in particular a young person.
I wish Laura had been able to see how much she was valued and I hope she is at peace now.
This is a very sad time but seeing the strong community spirit in The Aves makes me extra proud to represent them as one of their councillors.