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Tractor Run in Memory of Leicestershire Teen Who Took his Own Life

A convey of more than 150 tractors paraded through Leicestershire at the weekend, in memory of a teenager who took his own life.

Kieran Hopkins died in September at the age of 19, after struggling with his mental health.

In an effort to keep his memory alive, and also come to terms with the tragedy, his brother Liam organised a 19 mile ‘tractor run,’ through the villages of Leicestershire – a spectacle which took place on Saturday (December 3).

Leicester Time: Tractor Run in Memory of Leicestershire Teen Who Took his Own Life
Picture: Liam Hopkins

“Kieran used to drive tractors for a living. We both used to live on a farm and drive tractors all the time, so it seemed to be a fitting tribute to him,” Liam told the Leicester Times.

“He always took part in the tractor runs around Christmas and used to dress up his tractor with fairy lights, tinsel Christmas trees and stuff like that, so I thought it would be a nice send off for him.

Doing the tractor run was probably one of the best ideas I’ve had in my life. It’s completely and utterly distracted me from what was going on, and I think it’s helped the other family members as well,” he went on to reveal.

“Kieran would have been absolutely laughing his head off! Although there were a few tears, but there was a great atmosphere on the day. It’s something that he would absolutely have loved.”

Liam said that he hoped the tractor run would become an annual event in Kieran’s memory.

As a result of the event, over £7,000 has been pledged for Mind, the mental health charity.

Leicester Time: Tractor Run in Memory of Leicestershire Teen Who Took his Own Life
Picture: Liam Hopkins

“I think it’s important that we approach doing a tractor run every year just to make sure mental health charities have got their lines open and they can get people the help and support they need really,” said Liam, who lives in Hinckley.

“I think it’s important that men speak up about their problems, and also women as well. I have a lot of friends, including myself who suffer with mental health, and it’s not for the faint hearted,” he added. “If you’re not strong enough to pull through, and get help – or you’re too proud to reach out, then the facts are you won’t make it.

“My brother didn’t want to burden anybody else with his problems, those were his words. He didn’t want to bother anybody, and he explained that his head was in a lot of pain. However, by not speaking out, the problem is that it’s not left us any better off, because we’re worse now than we ever were,” he explained.

“I still have days where I break down, and just feel really low about it all. However, I have a young son to take care of and people that need me. I don’t think the grief’s really hit me yet, but hopefully when it does, I’ll have the support of friends and family to get me through.”

Anyone who’s having thoughts of suicide should contact the Samaritans on 166 123.

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