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Three Dads’ ‘Walk of Hope’ passed through Barton earlier today, and student representatives from Baysgarth and Castledyke Primary ventured down to show their support. 

17 days ago, Mike, Andy and Tim, embarked on a 500 mile journey to walk from Stirling in Scotland to Norwich, in an attempt to raise £150,000 for suicide prevention charity, Papyrus. After suffering the unimaginable loss of their three daughters, the three dads decided to channel their grief into raising awareness around such a difficult, yet so important topic, in light of the fact that suicide is the UK’s biggest killer of those under the age of 35.

Over the past few years, their annual expedition has raised over £1 million and has enabled the Papyrus helpline to be available 24/7, offering support to those experiencing their darkest times when they might feel they have no-one else to turn to. Upon arrival at their checkpoint, Tim said, “if this saves one life, that’s something”. 

Despite having already travelled over 330 miles since mid-April, and having spent much of the morning walking in the rain, Mike, Andy and Tim graciously welcomed our students to ask a few questions they had prepared in advance. 

They were incredibly open about their individual experiences and encouraged young people to speak up about their emotions, to help this become the norm and not a taboo topic. Explaining that a mere 15-minutes can make the biggest difference, Mike, Andy and Tim said that young people need to be aware of resources they are able to reach out to in times of need, and handed wristbands to everyone containing the support number for Papyrus. 

Their candidness was exceptionally moving and brought many listeners to tears, however, they retained such a sense of purpose whilst recalling what their own children would have said to them in the moment and in response to their amazing efforts. Their positivity and hope was truly inspirational, and it was a privilege to have met them. 

Our students were phenomenal; they conducted themselves with the utmost respect and were an absolute testament to the school and themselves. With children and young people aged between nine and 15, (most of whom are Mental Health Ambassadors) they demonstrated compassion, kindness and sincerity, with a true desire to listen, learn and be part of the change the team is hoping to bring about. 

A huge thank you to The George Inn for providing shelter from the rain and an opportunity to chat with Mike, Andy and Tim before they headed off on their onward journey to Bigby. Additionally, a massive thank you to Adrian Ellis, father of George, who invited our students to be part of such an important message. Baysgarth has worked closely with Adrian recently and he has visited students to share his own experience to also bring attention and awareness around suicide prevention. 

Furthermore, the Baysgarth Bulletin has an interview scheduled with Adrian later this month, so keep posted for this article coming soon!

We wish the Mike, Andy and Tim the best of luck, and fine weather, for the remainder of their journey, which is expected to conclude on 11th May.

Find our more here and if you would like to donate to the ‘Three Dads Walking’, click here.

#3dadswalking #suicideprevention #fundraising #papyruscharity #dontbeafraidtospeakout #itsoknottobeokay