THE family of Campbell Hunter have released a song he recorded last summer – and it has quickly raised thousands for charities close to his heart.
Former Peebles High School pupil Campbell died on December 9 aged 18 while at university in Glasgow, but friends, family and others in the community have been given the chance to hear him and his mum Gayle Gallagher sing together.
The Divide, a song written by Campbell’s uncle Michael Hunter, was recorded during the summer, and now the family are sharing it online as a free download, with the hope that people will donate to their three chosen charities.
Reflecting on the track, Gayle, 41, said: “It’s like a trip with him [Campbell]. It’s somewhere I can be with him as we go through the grieving process.”
‘We hope it helps people with their grief’
Gayle and her husband Mike [Gallagher] told the Peeblesshire News that the outpouring of love for Campbell has been “overwhelming”.
Mike, Campbell’s step-dad, said: “We expected to raise maybe £100 for the charities, but when we put the link up on Facebook, within the first 12 hours we’d raised £6,000.
“We had a lot of messages really appreciating us sharing the song. People said it was nice to hear his voice again.”
For Gayle and Mike, 43, making The Divide available publicly has been a help in their grieving process, and they hope it may offer comfort to others as they come to terms with Campbell’s death.
“We’ve struggled so much,” said Mike. “It’s good to share it at a horrific time.
“We hope it helps people with their grief too.”
Gayle added: “It [the song] will mean something different to each individual person.”
‘You can feel the community spirit’
Downloading The Divide is free but Gayle and Mike are asking people to donate what they can to three charities – the Anthony Nolan charity; Tweed Reads; and Interest Link Borders – all of which were close to Campbell.
Through Interest Link, Campbell volunteered as a buddy for a Peebles young person, and he was a group leader at Tweed Reads.
He came to support Anthony Nolan through his father Lee’s work as a firefighter for 15 years – the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has supported the charity for the past 11 years.
As well as kind messages over social media, Gayle and Mike say the Peebles community has supported them during this “horrific” time.
Gayle said: “We’re very fortunate to have what we have, to have a community like Peebles behind us.
“When it comes to something like this, you can feel the community spirit.”
Mike added: “There were hundreds of people on the street for the funeral [on January 7]. It shows the support you get in a small town”.
“We had no idea how many lives Campbell had touched,” Gayle said.
‘Very blessed to have our family close by’
In September, Campbell left Peebles for Glasgow where he was studying Psychology, English Literature and Creative Writing at Strathclyde University.
At that time Mike was in hospital with bacterial meningitis, so Gayle took Campbell to Glasgow with Lee.
In spite of how difficult things have become for their family, Gayle said: “This horrendous time has brought us all closer together. We’re very blessed to have our family close by.
“We couldn’t have done the last month without their help.”
To download The Divide, visit: www.michaelhuntermusic.com