This week, Craig Borland offers a few thoughts following the tragic death of Kirk Allan in Helensburgh at the weekend - and the public’s remarkable response to an online fund-raiser set up to help his family.


The family and friends of Kirk Allan have my utmost sympathy. I cannot begin to imagine the agony that they must be going through right now.

The loss of any life is a tragedy; the loss of a life so young, and so suddenly, can only make that tragedy even harder to bear.

I will not speculate here about what may have happened in the days and hours leading up to Kirk’s death. That would be inappropriate and deeply insensitive. What I will do, though, is say how heart-warming it has been to see how people have shown their support for his family by giving a donation to an online crowdfunder set up by one of Kirk’s friends, Jamie Peak.

As the Advertiser went to press on Wednesday, the amount donated stood at more than £14,000 in the space of just 48 hours, which is an incredible demonstration of kindness.

READ MORE: Fund-raiser for family of Helensburgh teen Kirk Allan tops £15,000

It is frequently claimed – often with a good deal of justification – that the internet has amplified some of the very worst aspects of human nature. You don’t have to look too far to see where attempts to share knowledge and information – the whole point of the World Wide Web when Tim Berners-Lee created it all those years ago – appear to be fighting a losing battle against bias, misinformation, fake news, prejudice and narcissism.

But human nature sometimes shines out at its best in the online sphere too. Fund-raising campaigns in response to tragic events aren’t new, of course, but before some bright spark came up with the idea of donating money to good causes via the internet, it just wouldn’t have been possible for people to show tangible support to Kirk Allan’s family in the way they have over the last few days.

All the money in the world will not take away the pain Kirk’s family are feeling, of course. But while those who knew Kirk, and who know his family, will already be doing whatever they can to help, it’s great that there exists a way that the wider public - some of whom may not have known Kirk at all - can demonstrate their kindness too.

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