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Pride of Britain Award recipients 3 Dads Walking continue their Walk Of Hope to smash stigma around mental health and suicide in young people to give talk at Sutton Bridge Curlew Centre





Three bereaved fathers who are trekking 500 miles to raise awareness and help prevent suicide in young people will be giving a talk about their latest challenge.

The 3 Dads Walking, Tim Owen, Andy Airey and Mike Palmer, lost their daughters Emily, Beth and Sophie to suicide and have so far raised more than £1 million pounds for charity PAPYRUS – including donations from Hollywood actors Danial Craig and Nicole Kidman

Tim, Andy and Mike will visit the Curlew Centre in Sutton Bridge on Tuesday, May 7, during their current route from Scotland to Norwich to talk about their mission.

Tim Owen, Andy Airey and Mike Palmer are 3 Dads Walking in aid of PAPYRUS a charity that works to prevent suicide in young people. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Tim Owen, Andy Airey and Mike Palmer are 3 Dads Walking in aid of PAPYRUS a charity that works to prevent suicide in young people. PHOTO: SUBMITTED

Frank Heinrich-Tiller, trustee of Long Sutton Men's Shed and committee member of U3A Sutton Bridge, said: “The 3 Dads have agreed to come to the Curlew Centre as they pass through Sutton Bridge to give a talk on the background and reasons for undertaking this walk.”

Having received a Pride of Britain award, the 3 Dads have become national heroes for raising awareness and helping to save young lives by completing 300 miles in 2021.

Cumbria’s Andy Airey, who lost his 29-year-old daughter Sophie to suicide in 2018, said: “This walk is about refocusing our fundraising efforts to help PAPYRUS achieve its goals and extend the lifesaving work the charity does.

Tim Owen's daughter Emily who died in 2020
Tim Owen's daughter Emily who died in 2020

“Along the way we will talk to loads of people, some of whom will be new to the charity, we will raise funds to help PAPYRUS open more offices, train more people and ultimately stop preventable suicides.

“Together we can save lives.”

Andy Airey lost his 29-year-old daughter Sophie to suicide in 2018
Andy Airey lost his 29-year-old daughter Sophie to suicide in 2018

In 2022 they doubled the distance of their first challenge covering 600 miles between the parliaments of all four nations and attracted more than 100,000 signatures for an online petition to have suicide prevention included on the school curriculum, prompting a debate in the House of Commons.

Mike Palmer, who lost his 17-year-old daughter Beth to suicide in 2020, says the 3 Dads Walking have unfinished business.

He said: “Our third walk is borne from the belief that more precious young lives can be saved.

Mike Palmer lost his 17-year-old daughter Beth to suicide in 2020
Mike Palmer lost his 17-year-old daughter Beth to suicide in 2020

“Progress is being made but the fact is we hear of more tragic stories nearly every week and there is so much work still to do.

“Walking and talking is what we do. Smashing the stigma around mental health and suicide is our goal.

“With every step we remember our girls and this gives us the courage to make a difference.”

Mike Palmer, Tim Owen and Andy Airey are 3 Dads Walking. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Mike Palmer, Tim Owen and Andy Airey are 3 Dads Walking. PHOTO: SUBMITTED

On route they will visit some of the newly opened, or soon to open, PAPYRUS offices and hubs in Stirling, Newcastle, Leeds and Norwich.

Tim Owen, of Norfolk, lost his 19-year-old daughter Emily to suicide in 2020, said: “Like many, I was shocked to find out that suicide is the biggest killer of under 35s in the UK, and often wondered if our stories would have been different if we or our girls had known about PAPYRUS and the charity’s HOPELINE247 service.

“Our walk will highlight the lifesaving work PAPYRUS delivers through a growing number of hubs embedded in communities across the UK.

Andy Airey, Tim Owen and Mike Palmer are 3 Dads Walking to raise awareness and funds to help prevent suicide in young people. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Andy Airey, Tim Owen and Mike Palmer are 3 Dads Walking to raise awareness and funds to help prevent suicide in young people. PHOTO: SUBMITTED

“The more money we raise as we walk, the more the charity will expand across the nation and the more lives will be saved.”

During their two previous challenges the 3 Dads Walking were overwhelmed by public kindness and generosity from Hollywood actors Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman who each donated £10,000 as did soccer legend Lou Macari who lost his son to suicide.

Ged Flynn, Chief Executive of PAPYRUS, said: “The 3 Dads Walking have already captured the nation’s hearts, after all what could be more important than the wellbeing of our children and saving young lives?

“Andy, Mike and Tim are ordinary dads who will be continuing their extraordinary mission to raise awareness and spread hope, helping to start vital conversations about suicide that too many families feel unable or unwilling to have.

“In their efforts to raise much-needed funds for our charity, the dads have already enabled us to grow and 2024 will see PAPYRUS further extend its work into the heart of many communities across the UK.”

The 3 Dads will be giving their talk at the Curlew Centre, Sutton Bridge on Tuesday, May 7, at 5pm and entry is free.

For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice please contact PAPYRUS HOPELINE247 on 0800 068 4141, text 88247 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org

For more details about the 3 Dads Walking and their 2024 challenge visit: www.3dadswalking.uk

*Samaritans offer FREE round-the-clock, confidential support to anyone who wants to talk through their problems, which could include relationship and family problems, bereavement, financial worries, job-related stress, or college and study-related stress.

Call Samaritans on 116 123; calls are free from any phone, or visit www.samaritans.org to find out about the wide-ranging support on offer from Samaritans and other organisations.



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