Home   Thanet   News   Article

Family of Stefan Kluibenschadl campaign for kindness on what would have been his 17th birthday

The family of a teenage boy who died after being bullied are encouraging people to carry out acts of kindness on what would be his 17th birthday today.

Emma and Tristan Kluibenschadl have already set the ball rolling by giving 15 cards, with small sums of cash, to strangers in Westgate-on-Sea, Margate and Westwood Cross shopping centre.

Stefan’s parents are honouring him by carrying out acts of kindness. Pictures courtesy of the Kluibenschadl family
Stefan’s parents are honouring him by carrying out acts of kindness. Pictures courtesy of the Kluibenschadl family

The 15 represents their son Stefan’s age when he died last year and each card has letters explaining the cause.

Stefan was found hanged after being picked on for being autistic but a coroner could not rule suicide at his inquest.

Mr Kluibenschadl told KentOnline: “Stefan was a kind and gentle soul who would himself show acts of kindness like buy a cup of coffee to someone who was homeless.

“We had to bury him three days before his 16th birthday.

“We want to do this today in his memory and encourage others to make a gesture to spread a bit of kindness to others to make their day better.”

Stefan's parents Emma and Tristan
Stefan's parents Emma and Tristan

The gesture can be as small and simple a paying someone a compliment or recognising a friendship.

The family put out the appeal today on the Facebook page New Thanet Chat with the hashtag #bekind.

Mr Kluibenschadl wrote: “Happy 17th Birthday son. I love you and miss you so much.

“This last year has been unbearable without you. Instead of celebrating with you and buying you driving lessons, we are doing acts of kindness in your name.

“Stefan was a kind, loving, funny and beautiful boy who was always kind to others.”

Stefan Kluibenschadl died last year aged 15
Stefan Kluibenschadl died last year aged 15

The post attracted nearly 100 messages of sympathy and goodwill by this afternoon.

One respondent, Michaela Drew-Hill, told how she had already placed a stone in Stefan’s memory last Saturday in Pembrokeshire.

Kayla Fuller told how she had received one of the cards, from Mrs Kluibenschad, whom she had never met before today, at Millie’s Cafe in Westgate this morning.

It was in an envelope marked “act of kindness” and had £10 cash.

The covering letter said: “We would like you to have this gift. This act of kindness is meant to make the world a little better and is in honour of our beautiful son.”

Ms Fuller said on New Thanet Chat: “A lovely lady came past and gave us this card. Made us a tad emotional. What a wonderful thing to do.

“Happy birthday Stefan. Your mum is keeping your memory alive.

“If you read this I wanted to let you know what you’re doing is amazing and there should be more people in this world like you. I’m certain Stefan would be proud.

“Little acts of kindness go a long way.”

Stefan, who also had one sister, was found hanging but still alive in his bedroom in Margate on March 20, 2022.

He was taken to hospital but died six days later after falling into a coma.

At the inquest, which finished last December, the coroner, Catherine Wood, said she could not conclude suicide as Stefan had asked a friend to visit him that afternoon.

His parents described him as a "kind and caring" boy
His parents described him as a "kind and caring" boy

Ms Wood said she did not have the evidence to conclude misadventures or give an open verdict.

Instead, she gave a narrative verdict saying his cause of death was hypoxia of the brain due to asphyxiation caused by hanging.

The conclusion also added that he had autism and dyslexia.

At the hearing, his parents said Stefan had been bullied for being autistic after he took on a part time job as a butcher’s assistant in a unit within a wider commercial site.

He had been there for 17 months but in the last three months other workers on the site discovered he was autistic and a minority of them picked on him for it.

He eventually quit and became withdrawn.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More