Our much loved son and brother, Scott, who was the lead singer and songwriter in the Scottish band, Frightened Rabbit, took his life in May 2018, aged just 36 years, after a much publicised and lifelong battle with depression. Through his words and music, his art, his humour and his honesty, Scott reached out to so many and as well as giving boundless pleasure, he helped folk to find a way to face up to and overcome their difficulties.
Make Tiny Changes
Scott’s life at the centre of the Frightened Rabbit family has been much chronicled and that part of his legacy is there, forever, for us all to share. The way that Scott left the world was played out in a glare of publicity which has been strangely helpful and supportive on the whole, yet difficult for our family at times. However, we need to move onto more sure and steady ground, to enable us to use the voice that he has given us, to make a difference.
Scott was first and foremost a family person, our home in Selkirk was the jumping board for his music, a place where he would come back to later in life to recharge his batteries, a sanctuary when he was troubled and a sure link with love.
As a child, Scott looked to be a ‘shy wee boy’, who later in life was very open about his fear of ‘social situations’, a fear which earned him the family name ‘Frightened Rabbit’.
Mental health, and young people’s mental health in particular, was a cause close to Scott’s heart.
The ‘Frightened Rabbit’
With hindsight, Scott’s anxiety was much more than just ‘shyness’. He suffered from night terrors and childhood groups, such as playgroups were a nightmare for Scott. Although he found learning easy at school, Scott reached a level of what passed for acceptance when really he was simply hiding his feelings.
Scott later revealed that even in his first year of high school he was so scared of being ridiculed that he pretended he hadn’t finished his work when if fact he had. This might seem fairly minor to most people, but to Scott it was cause for great anxiety and the kind of thing that was to happen throughout most of his schooling and indeed his life.
A life lived to the full
We don’t want to give the impression that Scott’s life was miserable all the time because this couldn’t be further from the truth. He lived his life to the full when he was feeling good and even sometimes when he wasn’t. He knew real happiness through family, friendships, his music, his art and more. He followed his dream to write songs and anthems that were sung in pubs and stadiums across the world, were sung in peoples’ front rooms and in the shower!! He found his comfort zone up on stage alongside his beloved fellow band members, his younger brother Grant and friends Andy, Billy and Simon. He gave so much and got so much back over his 36 years on this earth.
So that’s what led us to set up Tiny Changes, choosing the name from one of Frightened Rabbit’s best loved songs ‘Head Rolls Off’ – with the line ‘while I’m alive, I’ll make tiny changes to earth’ and why we chose as our focus ‘children and young people who suffer from anxiety and have mental health challenges’.
Tiny changes can lead to big change
One of our main thrusts is to raise money through donations, to give grants to support worthwhile initiatives that strive to turn tiny changes in to big change.
Raising awareness of mental health issues and how they affect children and young people is of paramount importance, as is highlighting areas for improvement. Above all we are here to listen. We are here to listen to teachers, parents, medical professionals and above all we are here to listen to young people and children themselves. Happy and healthy children turn into happy and healthy adults.
Together we will push for change to make lives better.
All that is left to say is ‘thank you’ for listening, for your support and for caring.
Ron, Marion, Neil and Grant