People across the country, who have been inspired by Waterford’s well known 'The Shona Project', have been paying their respects online to the woman who inspired the organisation.
Shona Heffernan, who was the older sister of 'The Shona Project' founder Tammy Darcy, has died peacefully today after a long illness.
In her early teen years, Shona began struggling to do normal everyday things, and she was eventually diagnosed with AVM Arteriovenous Malformations, a type of acquired brain injury.
Shona's health began to deteriorate quickly at the time and her family was told that she could pass away within the year.
Shona defied the suspected outcome but her diagnosis resulted with over two decades of 24 hour nursing care.
Surrounded by her family, Shona died peacefully at St.Vincent’s hospital in Dublin, in the early hours of this morning.
To date 'The Shona Project' has empowered thousands of girls all over Ireland.
The initiative educates, empowers and inspires Irish girls to become tomorrow's strong, resilient and confident young women.
Her younger sister, Tammy Darcy said at the time of its launch; “I feel like Shona is, in spite of her illness, creating an impact on the world”.
“Shona’s legacy has touched every corner of Ireland.
"We will take some time as a family and as a community before continuing to build on her legacy”.
— Shona: The Survival Kit for Girls (@shonadotie) February 1, 2023
Tributes are being paid to Shona Heffernan online, including posts from Women’s Aid Ireland.
From everyone at Women's Aid, we are so sorry for your loss Tammy, sending our thoughts to your family.
I have never known anyone to fight so long and so hard, with such defiance and stubbornness.
Shona is survived by her mother Liz, sister Tammy, brother Sean, brother-in-law Fergus, sister-in-law Tracey, nieces and nephews.
The Shona Project
The Shona Project runs educates, empowers and inspires Irish girls to become tomorrow's strong, resilient and confident young women.
The initiative recently asked 559 teenage girls across Ireland how they were doing and the results showed:
- Only 20% of teenage girls feel as though they will have the same opportunities as boys
- 77% of teen girls in Ireland don’t ‘feel beautiful’
- Almost 60% agree that they have worries or anxieties that nobody knows about
- 84% think negative thoughts about the world around them
- 90% have negative thoughts about themselves
The Shona Project runs powerful and engaging school workshops suitable for all secondary school students focused on kindness, mindset, resilience and confidence.
To find out more, visit Shona.ie.