Memorial for Brighton schoolgirl who took her own life

A MEMORIAL to a ‘vibrant and beautiful’ teenager who took her own life has been completed.

Minnie Rose Eastman, who attended Vardean School, died at her home in Brighton in July 2019.

She has been commemorated in a giant public mural in Pelham Street, Brighton which includes a spray painting of the 13-year-old surrounded by rose petals.

The Argus: Minnie Rose EastmanMinnie Rose Eastman

Her mother Sacha Eastman says it was a “powerful moment” when graffiti artists Guy Favela and Fek sent her their designs for the mural.

She said: “They’ve really captured her face and I am not disappointed. It’s beautiful.

“I basically told the artists what I wanted including roses and a mandala and then they came up with the design.

“They sent me a design and when I opened it up it really hit me. It felt like I had just walked around the corner and bumped into her.

The Argus: Minnie Rose EastmanMinnie Rose Eastman

“It’s powerful and I know for anyone who knew her, or perhaps didn’t even know her, they will see that picture of her face and the eyes are quite something.”

Sacha organised the street art project alongside youth suicide prevention charity Papyrus.

The memorial includes the phone number for the charity’s helpline, where people can access confidential help and advice.

Donations of spray paint came from as far away as Canada and both artists worked voluntarily.

Sacha said: “Humankind can surprise you, even the kindness of strangers.

“This story, like all stories of tragedies, can just affect everyone and anyone.”

Sacha says the street art is a fitting tribute to her beloved daughter who she described as “very artistic.”

She said: “Minnie was really creative. When she died and on the first anniversary, some of the school children left notes at Queen’s Park and they said things like ‘you were so cool’ and ‘you were so funny’ and she was. She wanted to be everybody’s friend.

“But the thing is, it’s difficult in secondary school because kids have their groups. She seemed to not really fit in anywhere and she was a real individual.

“When you’re young and you’re at school if you don’t fit in, it’s not so easy. If she’d have stuck around, she’d have gone to college and people would be flocking around her. But when you are 13, it’s not easy.

“It’s a vibrant and beautiful mural, and that’s what she was.”

“I don’t want anyone to forget her. She’s still very much alive in my head and my heart as well as our families. She has relatives in Australia, her grandparents, her cousins – it affects everybody.”

To mark the first anniversary of Minnie’s death, Sacha had planned a big benefit gig, but sadly it was cancelled due to the pandemic.

However, Sacha says she is looking to reorganise the festival in her daughter’s memory.

Sacha said: “It was all arranged with artists and musicians but then the first lockdown happened.

“It was meant to happen on the 24 May 2020 so for me, this is my healing and to remind people about Minnie. Doing this is healing for me.”

For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice please contact PAPYRUS HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039967 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org

If you are affected by any issues raised in this story, you can also contact The Samaritans for confidential support on 116 123.

The Argus | Brighton and Hove news