Young friends of Meldreth suicide victim hold music event to raise awareness of depression

Edward and Olivia

Edward and Olivia - Credit: Archant

A friend of a talented Meldreth teen who took his own life in February after a sudden onset of depression is holding a music night to raise awareness of mental health issues among young people.

Ed and Olivia jamming

Ed and Olivia jamming - Credit: Archant

Before studying at Hills Road Sixth Form College, Edward Mallen was head boy at Melbourn Village College, and head girl Olivia Carter was heartbroken to hear the news of his death.

She said: “Edward and I were good friends and both did music together, he was someone I spent a lot of time with at school.

Edward Mallen

Edward Mallen - Credit: Archant

“The news of his passing was really heartbreaking for my friends and me. Ed was one of the smartest people I know – he was kind and humble and really talented at music.”

After Edward’s father Steve Mallen set up a charity called the MindEd Trust to support mental health training in schools, Olivia and friends, including his former girlfriend Sophie, decided they wanted to do something to help.

A floral tribute laid outside the church in Meldreth for Edward Mallen's funeral

A floral tribute laid outside the church in Meldreth for Edward Mallen's funeral - Credit: Archant

The 18-year-old said: “I think the MindEd Trust is so brilliant. Before Ed passed I didn’t really understand what a big issue mental health was, I didn’t know there are huge waiting lists to be seen by a professional.

“We spoke about ways we could fundraise and I’m really into music, I’ve done a few gigs here and there, so I decided to hold a music night at The Plough.”

MindEd Trust logo

MindEd Trust logo - Credit: Archant

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Steve said the music night is true to the ethos of the charity, which is about getting young people together and removing the stigma associated with mental health issues.

Steve, who is in talks with the NHS about mental health services available to young people, said: “The trust has taken off substantially, with events large and small from local pub fundraisers to corporate sponsorship with John Lewis.

“The trust is making phenomenal progress and MP Heidi Allen has offered her full support.”

The people of Meldreth have also come together after the tragedy, and offered support through a raffle organised by One Stop Stores, where Edward did a paper round.

The MindEd Trust Music Night, at which Olivia will perform, will be held at The Plough in Shepreth from 8pm on Wednesday. It’s free entry, and collections will be made on the night.

The trust aims to improve awareness and support for young people via the introduction of MindEducation programmes in schools in Herts and Cambs.