Hollywood actor Daniel Craig has sent a heartfelt message of support to three fathers who have lost young daughters to suicide.
The 3 Dads Walking are currently on a 600-mile trek across the UK, calling for suicide prevention to be included in the school curriculum.
In a surprise video message to the bereaved fathers, Mr Craig describes them as “truly, truly heroic.”
The actor has already donated £10,000 to PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide, the national charity they support.
In his video Mr Craig says to the dads: “Shout loudly, I know you’ll be heard. All my very best. Good luck.”
Andy Airey from Cumbria, Mike Palmer from Greater Manchester and Tim Owen from Norfolk say they are totally overwhelmed by his kindness.
“It was absolutely brilliant of Daniel Craig to do that. It means so much to us, to have made such an impression. It just shows that we are getting suicide talked about. That’s the whole point of why we are doing this,” said Mike.
The actor’s personal tribute is among moving messages from a host of celebrities, sporting heroes and families who have been bereaved by suicide.
Last year the 3 Dads Walking teamed-up to trek 300-miles to raise money and awareness for the charity Papyrus.
This year they are aiming to double that distance by walking 600-miles between the parliaments of all four UK nations. They started at Stormont in Northern Ireland on 9 September before heading through Scotland. They are currently walking through northern England to Wales before ending their challenge at Westminster on 10 October.
Their deeply personal family stories of suicide have attracted global media attention. Last year Hollywood star Nicole Kidman matched Daniel Craig’s charity donation of £10,000 as did Manchester United soccer legend Lou Macari, who lost his son to suicide.
The 3 Dads Walking have since raised more than £880,000 as part of their quest to make suicide prevention a compulsory part of the school curriculum.
They are walking in memory of their daughters 17-year-old Beth Palmer, 19-year-old Emily Owen and Sophie Airey who was aged 29.
Andy Airey, from Morland near Penrith, said: “Around 200 schoolchildren are lost to suicide every year. That is both a tragedy and a national scandal which needs to be addressed.
“Our walk is to provide a focus for continuing the conversation with governments about embedding suicide prevention in the school curriculum. Young people want to know more about mental wellbeing and where to get help and schools have a vital role to play in saving young lives.“
Mike Palmer, from Sale in Greater Manchester, added: “We’re walking for a month and we’ll be talking for a month. Talking about how we need to equip our young people with life-skills which they can carry through the rest of their lives to protect themselves and others.”
Tim Owen from Shouldham in Norfolk said: “It’s going to be an epic. It’s obviously double the distance of our last walk, double the time and so hopefully we’ll meet double the people.
“Papyrus works across all four nations and so it makes sense to have a route across Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England and the seats of power where people can unlock this and potentially save lives.”
Ged Flynn, chief executive of PAPYRUS, says the 3 Dads Walking are already lifesavers.
“Andy, Mike and Tim are helping to start conversations in homes where 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,” he said.
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: https://www.3dadswalking.uk/the-2022-route
More information about 3 Dads Walking can be found on their website: https://www.3dadswalking.uk/