Huge support for appeal set up in Kettering man’s name

Denise Mackay, Charlotte Mackay and friends Rachael Nutt and Georgina Barr
Denise Mackay, Charlotte Mackay and friends Rachael Nutt and Georgina Barr

Organisers have been taken aback by the support they have received for a fledgling fund set up in memory of a 29-year-old Kettering man.

About £2,250 was raised at a festive fair in the town last weekend for Johnny’s Happy Place, named after Johnny Mackay, who took his own life in October.

More than 600 people packed into the William Knibb Centre in Montagu Street for the special Christmas event, which featured a selection of stalls, beauty treatments, entertainment and refreshments. It was held last Sunday, December 7.

And organisers Denise and Charlotte Mackay – Johnny’s mum and sister – as well as friends Rachael Nutt and Georgina Barr said they were delighted with the turnout.

More than 600 people attended, allowing £2,250 to be raised in Johnny’s name.

The four organisers have thanked everyone who came and who donated both their time and money to the cause.

Denise said she was pleasantly surprised by how people many had turned up on what was a bitterly cold December afternoon.

Meanwhile, the producers of a youth version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol have also given their backing to the Johnny’s Happy Place appeal.

C&D Productions, which is in charge of the show – taking place between Wednesday, December 17, and Friday, December 19, at Kettering’s Corn Market Hall in London Road – has handed over half the money from the tickets they sold at the Christmas fair to the cause.

And they have also pledged to donate 50 per cent of all ticket sales for the Wednesday evening show to the cause. To buy tickets, log on to the website www.cdproductions.

Johnny’s Happy Place is a concept thought up to try to help people who are struggling with addiction and other problems.

Although the full details of the project are yet to be finalised, the aim will be to give them a safe place in Kettering where they can go for counselling or where they can take part in distracting activities in order to try to relieve some of the pressure they find themselves under.

Last month, Johnny’s mum Denise told the Northants Telegraph: “We want to have a place where they can go to take their minds off their problems for a while.

“That’s our long-term goal.

“If we can get it up and running in a year that would be wonderful.”

Johnny’s sister Charlotte added: “We wanted to do something to keep his memory and legacy going.”