A FUNDRAISING drive set up in honour of tragic Neilston schoolboy Ben McKenzie has generated more than £8,000 in just a few days.

The death of the much-loved 13-year-old was a devastating shock for family, friends and the wider community.

Eastwood High School pupil Ben was found lifeless at his home in the Luckiesfauld area in the early hours of the morning on Monday, October 1.

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Friends of the family have since launched a fundraiser in Ben’s name, with all the money going to Beautiful Inside & Out – a Scottish non-profit charity that supports bereaved parents and siblings of child suicide victims.

In a message on the fundraiser’s JustGiving page, organiser Sophie McLean said: “At the beginning of this month, my best friend lost her little brother to suicide. I’ve tried searching for the right things to say about Ben’s death but it seems to me there is nothing to be said other than it never should have happened.

“Ben was only 13 years old when his life was cut short as a result of online bullying. Before Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter, bullying was physical and in the moment.

“You went home from school, closed the door and you were safe until the next day. Now, with the aid of the internet and social media, there is no escape from bullying. It is constant.

“Anyone can contact you, from anywhere and at any time – even someone you don’t know.”

Sophie said she had joined forces with “a few others” to set up the JustGiving page in Ben’s memory.

She added: “We know that this can in no way make up for Ben’s tragic passing but we hope that this will become a way for anyone affected by Ben’s death to show their love and respect to the McKenzie family.”

The fundraiser was set up with a modest target of £500 but, in just 10 days, raised £8,160 from 450 kind-hearted supporters.

Beautiful Inside & Out was set up by Pauline Moriarty in 2013 following the suicide of her own 13-year-old daughter, Jenna.

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Pauline said: “Thank you so much to Ben’s family, friends and to all those who truly care about helping us to fund support for bereaved families of suicide victims and for troubled souls, through counselling, play therapy, drama therapy and music therapy, as well as groups.

“Even in her grief, Ben’s lovely mum took the time to phone and set up this support so that Beautiful Inside & Out  (SCIO) can organise and fund support that may well save many lives, in Ben’s beautiful name.”

If you'd like to donate, visit the Just Giving page