Andy, Mike and Tim – the ‘3 Dads Walking’ – have announced their next walk in memory of their three daughters, Sophie, Beth and Emily. This time, the dads are going one step further (or thereabouts) and are taking the whole of the UK in their stride…
In 2021, the three dads teamed up to walk 300-miles in memory of their daughters, who they each lost to suicide. Starting at Andy’s home in Cumbria, the route took them through Sale, where Mike lives, finishing their journey at Tim’s home in Norfolk.
The journey started as a fundraising and awareness campaign for PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide, with a grand target of £9,000 (£3,000 each). The dads’ personal stories of suicide took the world by storm, and they garnered press attention from across the globe. Donations poured in from thousands of well-wishing individuals; some sharing their own stories of loss; others thanking the dads for starting an important conversation about young suicide.
As the dads walked, the recognition grew. People came out to see them, to walk with them; schools came out to wave them on and there was a visit or two from the BBC Breakfast crew. They caught the attention of Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Lou Macari – each donating to the cause. They helped to start difficult conversations between families over the breakfast table; each step they took chipping away at the the stigma surrounding suicide.
When the dads arrived in Norfolk for the home stretch of their walk, the total amount raised for PAPYRUS was phenomenal – over £800,000 and counting…
What the walk taught the three dads was that something needed to change. What started as a journey of healing and hope, has galvanised into affirmative action – and a question for the UK Government: will you embed suicide prevention in the school curriculum?
On 9 September 2022 – the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day – the three dads will set off on another epic walk; this time taking in much of the UK. From Northern Ireland, through Scotland, Wales and finishing at the gates of Parliament in London, the dads are hoping to raise over £1 million for PAPYRUS along the way. And, most importantly to raise the flag of suicide prevention, in memory of Sophie, Beth and Emily – and the thousands of young people lost to suicide in the UK each year.
“Andy, Mike and Tim were leading different lives in different parts of the country and would probably never have met had they not been brought together by the tragedy and trauma of suicide which has shattered their lives and the lives of those around them,” says Ged Flynn, PAPYRUS Chief Executive.
“As the 3 Dads Walking they are able to channel their energy and focus on what they can do to help save young lives.
“They have already helped to start conversations in homes were families were unwilling to discuss suicide. It is remarkable that these proud fathers, who are each trying to deal with their own grief in their own way, have found a positive path forward together.”
To follow the dads’ four-week walk; and to find out how to join them when they arrive in a town near you, you can find their route, here.
More information about 3 Dads Walking can be found on their website, here.