Baton of Hope comes to the North East

29 June 2023

The Headlight Project were honoured to be part of the Baton of Hope initiative, held in Newcastle on 27th June. We attended the event at Newcastle University where our operations manager, Suzanne, delivered a powerful speech, along with other charities and local MP’s. Our Counsellor and Events & Volunteer co-ordinator Lucia, then carried the Baton in memory of her Dad.

The initiative was the result of Mike McCarthy and Steve Phillip being brought together through the tragic loss of sons, Ross and Jordan, to suicide. The two fathers sharing a common grief and each wanting to make a difference, and determined that the death of their sons should not be in vain.The Baton of Hope became the iconic symbol of a movement for change to suicide awareness and prevention.

The Baton of Hope relay began on Sunday 25th June and will tour round 12 cities across the UK, finishing on Downing Street London on Thursday 6 July. Many of the families who have been supported by the Headlight Project have got involved to carry the Baton in memory of their special person too.

The Baton is a symbol of Hope that if more people talk openly about mental health and suicide, spot the signs, ask the right questions, and listen without judgement, we can all make a difference.

The significance of this event cannot be overestimated. For the first time, a physical symbol that can be passed from bearer to bearer – from sufferer to sufferer – is spreading a message that people don’t need to struggle alone. For too long, the stigma associated with having the conversations that we so desperately need to have, has taken unnecessary lives to suicide.

Every one of us has a part to play in tackling the challenges presented by suicide. By raising awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing and re-calibrating our approach to the societal catastrophe created by suicide, lives will be saved.

We encourage everyone to support the Baton of Hope on it’s tour.

We would also encourage everyone to raise their own awareness and skills through attending our FREE Awareness and Training programme


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