Poignant Chris's House event for Lanarkshire residents commemorating loved ones
Hundreds of people walked from darkness into the light at the weekend to remember loved ones lost to suicide.
They were taking part in this year’s Walk of Hope, organised by North Lanarkshire-based charity Chris’s House, paying homage to family members and friends who took their own lives.
Despite the lack of light the bright yellow procession snaked its way across the River Clyde and along it’s embankments in a 5km circuit leaving and returning to the Glasgow Science Centre.
The walk officially got underway when it was waved off by Professor Rory O’Connor, who leads the Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory at University of Glasgow.
Despite the early start of 4.45am there were people there of all ages and walks of life but sadly they all had one thing in common.
Due to the Covid pandemic it was the first time the Walk of Hope, which leaves under the cover of darkness and returns as daylight breaks, has taken place on the riverside since 2019.
Chris’s House charity founder Anne Rowan felt it was the best one yet with more than 700 people attending.
She said: “It was phenomenal. It was a beautiful night and morning and I think it’s the best atmosphere we’ve had yet. I can’t thank everyone enough, from those who took part to the entertainers and our sponsors, Andy of AB Transport, Patersons Trophies, Miller Fabrications, Front Line Construction and Barratt Homes West.”
Participants gathered in the Science Centre to register and collect their specially-made t-shirts.
There was entertainment from Motherwell musician Kai Mcavoy, and The Soundsational Community Choir.
It was fitting that this year’s Walk of Hope immediately preceded Mental Health Awareness week which started on Monday, May 9. Each year the awareness week highlights a different topic, this year it’s loneliness.
Alice Hendry from who developed the R;pple was also in attendance, she lost her 21-year-old brother Josh to suicide in 2020 and came up with a browser pop-up that detects when people are searching the internet for tips on self-harm or how to take their own lives. It is being offered to businesses, schools and universities.
The pop-up features a message of hope and signposts to a range of free support services that are available 24/7 from mental health charities, including Chris’s House.
Anne added: “This is a great tool and we need to get the word of it out there, this can save lives.
“It’s free and you can put it on a phone or your laptop or computer.”
For more information on R;pple visit: ripplesuicideprevention.com
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