Lee Barry memorial family fun day at Inver Park raises thousands for Extern charity
A memorial family fun day to honour Larne man Lee Barry has raised more than £4,000 for leading mental health charity Extern.
The event was held in memory of Lee, a well-known local DJ, who died through suicide in August 2020 following a personal struggle with addiction and mental health issues.
Held at Larne FC’s ground at Inver Park, the event was organised by Lee’s mother Ali a year after his death, to raise vital funds for Extern’s Communities in Transition (CiT) project.
This works collaboratively with existing community-based projects to deliver health and wellbeing projects across Larne and Carrickfergus.
Ali said that she and her friends wanted to increase awareness of the charity, as well as holding an event which her son would have loved. She added: “Lee was someone who brought people together, so we wanted to organise a family fun day to represent him, his life and the things he loved. Many of the things which we organised on the day pay tribute in some way to the little things he liked, so it’s given those who knew him something positive to focus on.
“We also want to raise money and awareness for Extern, because without them, we wouldn’t have had the support available which is helping me and many others. I would like to thank the sponsors and everyone involved for making this event possible. Their support has been amazing.”
Grace O’Neill, fundraising manager at Extern, said: “We are delighted Ali is choosing to support Extern in this way. After the difficult 18 months we have all had this is such a positive way to bring people together to support a vital cause.
“At Extern we’re passionate about supporting the mental and physical wellbeing of the local community, but we can only do this with the help of kind-hearted and generous people like Ali and her friends.
“We have been delighted to support Ali in this event, which was an incredible achievement to organise in light of the restrictions which still impact upon our lives.
“Ali has been a real inspiration to so many, and the funds she has helped us to raise will play a vital part in ensuring that people who are going through personal challenges can avail of crucial support services too.”
To find out more about Extern’s work in the East Antrim area, please contact the Extern Communities in Transition team on 07483 428 559 or visit www.extern.org