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Molly McLaren Foundation set up after Cobham student stabbed to death at Chatham Dockside

By Amy Nickalls

The friends and family of a young woman killed in a knife attack are putting the finishing touches to the first of many fundraisers for a foundation set up in her memory.

Molly McLaren, 23, from Cobham, died at Dockside Outlet Centre, Chatham Maritime, Chatham, in June, but suffered with bulimia and anxiety throughout her life.

Her best friend and former work colleague, Amy Lee, is part of the board of trustees of The Molly McLaren Foundation along with Molly’s parents, brother and a family friend.

Molly McLaren
Molly McLaren

The foundation was set up to raise awareness of eating disorders.

Amy said: “It was easy for us to be negative about what happened and focus on the bad things rather than the positives that we can achieve.

“She wanted to start something. She had a blog and wanted to raise awareness, and because she can’t, we now have to.

“That’s what she would have wanted and it’s a great cause.”

Amy Lee (right), with best friend Molly McLaren
Amy Lee (right), with best friend Molly McLaren

Molly fought through her issues and used her story to help others, setting up the blog to encourage positive thoughts on body image and a more holistic way of living.

Following her death, a JustGiving page was set up. It stands at £15,160 with an additional £4,900 donated away from the site.

Molly’s parents, Doug and Jo, her brother Tom and family friend Theo are also trustees of the foundation, which is currently being processed by HM Revenue and Customs.

The JustGiving page is coming down next month but family and friends wanted to keep the fundraising going.

The Molly McLaren Foundation has been set up by friends of the tragic student
The Molly McLaren Foundation has been set up by friends of the tragic student

Amy added: “By registering the foundation we have control over what is sent out and don’t have to pay any administration fees and we can have our own platform moving forward.

“We already have a Facebook, Instagram and website ready for when the page comes down.”

The foundation will donate money to its chosen charities and there are three events in the pipeline before Christmas.

The first will be on Sunday, October 22.

Medway Moves for Molly will be in partnership with the University of Kent and Medway Park, Gillingham, and will run 11am-3pm. More details and tickets will be available in the coming weeks.

On Friday, October 27, the trust is arranging for a guest speaker from Beat – a charity that supports those affected by eating disorders – to share their personal story at the student hub at the University of Kent. Times have yet to be confirmed.

Find out more at www.themollymclarenfoundation.co.uk

Molly’s ex-boyfriend Joshua Stimpson, of High Street, Wouldham, is in custody after being charged with her murder.

He is due to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday to enter a plea.

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