West End Gala final night for charity helping NSPCC Childline

A Sutton-based charity set up in memory of its founder’s brother is celebrating 10 years of fundraising with a gala dinner in central London.

Aaron Hearne founded The Liam Charity in 2012, two years after Aaron and his mother had found his younger brother, who had tragically taken his own life. Liam was just 14.

Ten years and £260,000 raised later, with the main beneficiary being the NSPCC’s Childline service, Aaron and his team’s main aims have been to educate young children in the community about speaking out through sharing Liam’s story and suicide prevention.

The 10-Year Anniversary Celebration Gala, sponsored by Sport X, will take place at the Grand Junction in Paddington on May 14. Guests will be welcomed with a Champagne reception followed by a two-course meal. Live band The Fix will bring the event, the charity’s final chapter, to a close.

Ten years’ work: Aaron Hearne has raised £260,000 for Childline

Aaron says that other than fundraising the event will provide an opportunity to reflect on Liam’s legacy and the charity’s journey since it was set up. It will also be a chance to bring together all the people who have made The Liam Charity such a success over the years, to thank them for the profound impact they have had on so many young people like Liam.

Over the past 10 years, Aaron has taken nearly every holiday from work to achieve the charity’s goal of raising the money which has helped more than 65,000 children reach out to Childline.

Aaron said: “I miss Liam every single day, but when supporting the NSPCC Childline service through the Liam Charity I feel so close to him. Not many people have the opportunity to remember a loved one as I have.

“I am so lucky and could not be more grateful to everyone who has been a part of this amazing journey by remembering him in this way and I am looking forward to one last event at the most beautiful venue.”

The NSPCC’s Victoria Goodman said: “Aaron has made a tremendous contribution to the NSPCC and our Childline service over the past decade, from volunteering as a Childline counsellor to his new role as NSPCC Honorary Member of Council.

“The 10-Year Gala will be a wonderful celebration of all the hugely important fundraising and awareness raising work Aaron and his team at The Liam Charity have done. Their work continues to make an impact on thousands of young people’s lives.”

In March, Childline found that boys are five times less likely to talk with the service’s trained counsellors about their mental health than girls, and even less likely to come to them when they have suicidal thoughts.

Childline has launched a “We All Feel It” campaign to support young males who are struggling to speak about their mental health, and help before they reach crisis point. Developed with creative agency Livity, the campaign aims to resonate with boys and remind them Childline is always there and ready to support them, with whatever they are experiencing, 24 hours a day.

Children and young people can contact Childline for free, confidential support and advice, 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk.

To become a sponsor of The Liam Charity’s final event, please email Aaron at A.Hearne@TheLiamCharity.org.uk.

All proceeds will go to Childline.

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