Walk of Hope in memory of tragic Hamilton teen raises charity funds

Family and friends of a Hamilton teenager who died in 2018 have completed a Walk of Hope and raised vital funds for a community charity set up in her memory.

Darian Rouse, a pupil at Calderside Academy in Blantyre, was just 16-years-old when she passed away following years of mental health issues and anxiety struggles.

Her tragic death led her devastated parents Donna and Mark to set up SOC (Supporting Our Communities) a vital service which helps families and individuals in the Hamilton and Blantyre areas.

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The charity pinpoints people to specific support services they may require as well as working to reduce isolation, and improve people’s well-being. They also offer classes such as guitar and crochet lessons, gardening and arts and crafts sessions among others.

But such work requires funding and with the coronavirus pandemic cancelling most of last year’s fundraisers, recently Darian’s mum Donna, along with family members and a group of Darian’s friends, took part in their own Walk of Hope.

Walk of Hope in memory of tragic Hamilton teen raises charity funds
Darian Rouse

The group, all proudly sporting Walk of Hope T-shirts, met up at the SOC community hub, in Comely Bank, Hillhouse, at 4am and carried out a 5km walk around the area.

The walk also saw them take a trip down memory lane, passing Darian’s first home, primary school, and the family’s current home before walking into the sunrise, completing the journey from darkness into the light.

Donna’s proud husband Mark told Lanarkshire Live: “Donna has raised over £900 for the charity, founded by ourselves with other members of the community, and this money will be used to continue our work aimed at reducing isolation, loneliness and improving the mental well-being for all involved.

“A huge thank you to everyone who took part in our Walk of Hope and to thise who donated too. The funds really will make a difference within the community.”

During the pandemic, SOC teamed up with Morrisons Hamilton store and helped deliver food packages to people in need across the community. The charity also recently won the Supporting Communities Award 2020 at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) Scottish Charity Awards.

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