Family of bullied teen Martin Holder struggling to understand why he died
THE family of a teenager who was found dead in his home said they believe he took his own life, but added they struggled to understand why.
Martin Holder's mother Marj Hamlet was numb with shock as she spoke about continuing on without Martin and the massive hole his death had left in their lives.
She spoke frankly of the bullying the 16-year-old had endured at school, and said more needed to be done to stamp bullying out across the country.
Ms Hamlet said: "Most of the photographs we have of him show him smiling.
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"It's all just such a shock.
"The bullying was part of it and a part of him, but we don't know if that was the reason behind it. We are waiting to see what the police find on his computer and his phone, and the inquest. We need to hear what they say."
The family would like to put together a memorial to their son – having released a memorial lantern at Cleeve Hill on Sunday night – with a gig to be played at the 2 Pigs on Friday by his former band Within These Walls.
His mother, who lives in Whaddon, said: "There will be other bands, but the whole night is in tribute to him."
She said the family was still thinking about a more permanent memorial, potentially with a musical link.
"We would like a musical sculpture put up somewhere, although we're not sure where yet, for people to go to remember Martin," she said.
She added that bullying was a problem in schools around the country, and Martin had been verbally bullied "a lot".
She said bullies at Cleeve School had grabbed his lunch, and taken his bag.
"He's not the only one being bullied around the country. So many people have written on Facebook that their children are being bullied too," she said. "Schools have bullying policies in place, but bullying goes on."
A statement from Cleeve School said: "We would like to reiterate our sincere condolences to Martin's family for their loss.
"As a school community, Cleeve does not tolerate bullying. Both staff and students work hard to prevent bullying and respond quickly and effectively to rare incidents that occur.
"We have a strong pastoral system that provides extensive support for students and we take robust action in order to prevent any further instances.
"The school also takes an active stance in promoting the anti-bullying message through a range of activities including assemblies, tutor time and year group events.
"We provide a number of ways in which students can report bullying and want all students to play their part in helping the school to continue to be a caring, safe and inclusive environment."
The funeral will be held at 2.30pm on Monday, November 26, at Cheltenham Crematorium. There is no set dress code.
There will be family flowers only, but funeral directors Mason and Stokes will be accepting donations towards Martin's memorial.
All are welcome after at the King's Arms in Prestbury.