Our very own Ross Abbott, Head of Health & Wellbeing at Green Cross Global, has been selected to carry the Baton of Hope part way on its journey. As it travels from Glasgow to London, travelling through Northern Ireland and Wales, the Baton reaches Milton Keynes on July 4th – where Ross will carry the Baton of Hope to raise awareness of suicide.
The Baton of Hope
The Baton of Hope initiative was created by two dads, Mike & Steve, who lost their sons to suicide. After connecting following their loss, they made a commitment to improve suicide awareness and support throughout the UK.
The Baton of Hope was created as a beacon to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention, it is aiming to be the nation’s largest suicide prevention initiative.
The Baton will travel across the UK in order to raise as much support and awareness as possible. Starting in Glasgow on June 25th the Baton will travel to Edinburgh, then down to Newcastle, Sheffield, and Manchester before jumping on a ferry.
It will then be taken across to Belfast and then will head down to Cardiff. From there it will go through Bristol, Birmingham, Milton Keynes (where Ross will carry it on July 4th). The Baton will then head down to Brighton before heading back up to it’s final destination of London.
Why is it so important?
Right now, in the UK, suicide is the largest killer of men and women under the age of 35. That’s more than from traffic accidents and more than from cancer. Today alone, 17 people will die from suicide, the exact same will happen tomorrow and the day after that…
The numbers continue to rise and we need to do more raise further awareness of suicide and suicide prevention. That’s why the Beacon of Hope has been created – to act as a symbol to get more people talking about suicide.
Following his selection to carry the Beacon of Hope, we asked Ross for his thoughts on the importance of the Beacon:
“For me the baton of hope is vitally import as a symbol of raising awareness and opening up discussions around suicide. We worry about shining a light on this subject but I encourage all to do just that.
Unfortunately, suicide is not going away and kills more under 35’s than cancer and traffic accidents. Suicide is preventable and support is there, and I hope that this amazing UK imitative lets people know it is ok to talk about suicide, free from shame or judgement.
I support communities and organisations globally but to be selected to carry the baron in my hometown is a great honour. I will carry it for all of us that have lost someone to suicide, for my friends and for all those that think there is no hope.”
To learn more about the Baton of Hope, visit the website: batonofhopeuk.org
If you are affected by feelings of suicide or know someone who is, please know that there is help available, there are people who care about you, you can get through this.
For help & support contact:
Samaritans Support helpline: 116 123
Free, anonymous text messaging service