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Death of founder of Highland mental health charity Mikeysline

By Val Sweeney

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Mikeysline founder Ron Williamson, who has died, opened the charity's Hive project in Inverness in 2017.
Mikeysline founder Ron Williamson, who has died, opened the charity's Hive project in Inverness in 2017.

The founder of the Highland mental health charity, Mikeysline, has died following a long illness.

Ron Williamson helped set up the charity following the death of his nephew Michael "Mikey" Williamson (23) who died at his Inverness home in 2015 – two days after his friend, Martin Shaw, had also been found dead.

He felt there was a need for such an organisation after talking to young people at his nephew’s funeral and became aware they felt there was no one to talk to, or would understand what they were going through.

The charity paid tribute to Mr Williamson, who died peacefully at home, on social media.

It said: "Although we knew that this was coming, Ron somehow appeared invincible to many of us.

"He put up such a great fight against his inoperable illness with the strength and determination that launched Mikeysline eight years ago.

"Our thoughts are with Ron's family, friends, people who met Ron and supported Mikeysline in those early days and since and to our staff and volunteers who were there at the beginning with Ron and kept in touch over the years.

"RIP Ron."

When it was first launched, the charity set up to provide a text-for-help hotline service for people experiencing thoughts of depression, anxiety, worry or stress.

Although it was dismissed by some at the beginning, it grew and flourished.

Eight years on, the charity continues to expand its work providing mental health support to thousands in the Highlands, including a children’s programme teaching youngsters how to deal with life’s problems.

It also runs the Hive project in Inverness's Academy Street, supporting those in crisis with face-to-face and multi-media personal contact.

Although Mr Williamson retired from the charity's board at the age of 70, he remained up-to-date with its developments.

When Mikeysline celebrated its eighth anniversary this month, he said: "Congratulations to all the team at Mikeysline for the marvellous work they carry out 365 days a year. Long may it continue."

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