19 October 2022

Three dads who set out to achieve something positive following the deaths of their daughters have now raised more than £1 million for a national suicide prevention charity.

The 3 Dads Walking, who recently finished a second trek across the UK, say they have been completely overwhelmed by public kindness and generosity.

Andy Airey from Cumbria, Mike Palmer from Greater Manchester and Tim Owen from Norfolk had originally set out to raise around £3,000 each.

Today their current total raised for PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide stands at £1,004,709.

The fathers dedicated two fundraising walks to their beloved daughters who were lost to suicide; 17-year-old Beth Palmer, 19-year-old Emily Owen and Sophie Airey who was aged 29.

Ged Flynn, chief executive of PAPYRUS, said: “The 3 Dads Walking have captured the nation’s hearts. In these days of financial uncertainty, people have dug deep to support them in their efforts to raise much-needed funding for our charity.

“Together with the 3 Dads Walking, they have refused to see young suicide as inevitable. Together they have shared real passion for our young people and given them new hope. Together they have helped to save young lives.”

Bereaved father Mike Palmer said: “We set out hoping to raise a few thousand pounds each. We then raised our target as the generous donations came in. All we can say is that we have been completely overwhelmed by public kindness and generosity.

“Thank you to every single person who has supported us and continues to support us.”

Tim Owen said: “We need to do something positive in their memory and hopefully that’s what we’re doing. I’m not saying we’ve done it because we’re still doing it, and we’ll keep on going until it’s done.”

In addition to raising money and awareness, the 3 Dads Walking want to see children and young people taught life-skills in the classroom.

Their online petition to have suicide prevention included on the school curriculum has collected more than 126,000 signatures, which should prompt a debate in the House of Commons.

Andy Airey said: “In 2021 we walked 300-miles between our homes and in 2022 we walked twice that distance, 600-miles between the parliaments of all four nations, from Northern Ireland through Scotland, England and Wales.

“It was a long journey but worth every single step. What could be more important than the wellbeing of our children and saving young lives?”

Hollywood actors Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman each donated £10,000 to the 3 Dads during their walk last year, as did soccer legend Lou Macari who lost his son to suicide.

More information about 3 Dads Walking can be found on their website: https://www.3dadswalking.uk/

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