Holly Cowlam was caring, charismatic and vibrant. She was surrounded by loving family and friends who would have moved heaven and earth to help her. She also suffered from depression, and a week after her diagnosis she chose to end her life.
On the 13th of February this year, Holly, the sister of an SGS colleague’s friend, would be turning 29, so in honour of her memory and to help raise awareness about mental health, we’ll be pombombing the LRC on her birthday.
What is pombombing?
Pombombing is simply decorating an area with pompoms. Making pompoms was a cherished hobby for Holly and her sister.
In the words of her sister:
“She left a patch of grey on all our hearts, so for her birthday we are going to splash a bit of the colour and vibrancy Holly brought to everything she did.”
How can you get involved?
Every Thursday at 11am in the run up to Holly’s birthday we’ll set aside a table in the LRC so that you can come and make pompoms to add to our collection. Alternatively, you can drop by at any time of day and ask for the necessary materials.
On the 13th of February we’ll gather all the pompoms and make the LRC as bright and vibrant as Holly’s presence was.
We also encourage you to make pompoms at home and pombomb local areas. Take photos of your work and spread awareness on social media with the hashtag #hollyspombombs and the tag @hollyspombombs. We’d like to give a special thank you to Fabrics Plus who’s wool we’ve been using to make our fabulous creations.
If you’re struggling with your own mental health, please remember that there are always people you can talk to. At SGS College you can talk to Ben Johnson (01179092413, SU@sgscol.ac.uk). Outside of SGS there is also plenty help available. You can phone or email the following organisations:
Samaritans – for everyone
Call 116 123
Papyrus – for people under 35
Call 0800 068 41 41 – Monday to Friday 10am to 10pm, weekends 2pm to 10pm, bank holidays 2pm to 5pm
Text 07786 209697
Childline – for children and young people under 19
Call 0800 1111 – the number won’t show up on your phone bill
Bristol Mental Health crisis line – Bristol residents
Call 0300 555 0334. This line is open 24 hours a day, every day
Remember that it’s okay to not be okay – and it’s never too late to reach out. You deserve to be happy and healthy.
Thank you so much for this.
Speechless and brimming over with tears
Harry Biggs-Davison says
I was walking my dog in Cottenham Park, Wimbledon, in south west London this morning when I came across a tree that had been pombombed, with a note of explanation. What a wonderful way to remember Holly and to raise awareness of the scourge of mental ill health. Having lost my elder son, Patrick, to suicide in 2015, the decorated tree had particular resonance. I am now a trustee of PAPYRUS whose free national helpline – Hopeline UK (0800 068 4141) – provides support, advice and intervention to young people in crisis and to those desperately worried about a child or young person. Our operators are all professionals, trained in suicide prevention, and they really do save young lives.