Leanne Dawson, from Walton-le-Dale, has organised and completed a charity walk to help raise awareness about suicide rates in young people.Advertisement
Leanne, 25, is focusing her effort on the Papyrus charity, which is the national charity for the prevention of young suicide.
Papyrus draws from the experience of people who have been touched personally by young suicide across the UK and speak on their behalf in campaigns and endeavours to save young lives.
The charity holds an annual Hopewalk event where a volunteer can apply to organise a walk in their local area supported by the charity – and Leanne organised the Preston Hopewalk.
The 8.5 mile walk took place on Sunday 10 October, which was National Suicide Prevention Day.
It started from the GreyFriar’s Wetherspoons and then journeyed through Walton-le-Dale, Bamber Bridge, Lostock Hall, Penwortham and back through to the Greyfriars Wetherspoons.
Leanne, a mental health nursing student at UCLan, is passionate about working in young adult/child mental health services, and believes the charity and fundraiser will help support young people in need.
She said: “Hopewalk aims to shatter the stigma of young suicide, and let them know Papyrus are out there to help!
“We also hope that it encourages people to talk through the taboo of young suicide in addition to raising funds that enable the charity to continue to save young lives!”
“It was fab! It poured it down the whole way but not a single complaint from anyone, they powered through!
“We had such a good time. Greyfriars was brilliant, they put out sausages, chips, salad, onion rings – they were really accommodating! And Sainsburys donated water bottles and bananas to all our walkers too.
“We’ve raised at least £1200 so far.”
The walkers ranged from 11-16 years, and right up to people in their 50’s.
Cllr Drew Gale and Cllr Peter Kelly from Preston City Council joined the walk.
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Cllr Drew Gale, Chair of the task and finish group on suicide prevention, said: “The suicide prevention task and finish group is a cross party committee looking at council policy with regard to a suicide prevention strategy.
“We have met a number of SME’s in order to assist with this – our report should be finished soon and will contain a number of recommendations.
“Leanne contacted me asking if I would like to take part and of course I was only to happy to assist. My wife Victoria joined me on the walk.”
Will you be taking part in the walk? Do you know the Papyrus charity? Let us know in the comments below