James Bond star Daniel Craig has kindly donated £10,000 to three dads raising money for suicide prevention.
Andy Airey, Mike Palmer and Tim Owen are walking 300 miles to fundraise for Papyrus – a prevention of young suicide charity – after their daughters took their own lives.
In a trip they have named Three Dads Walking, the fathers will trek 20 miles each day between their homes in Greater Manchester, Norfolk and Cumbria.
Mr Craig gave the trio permission to share his act of generosity with the public, with Mr Airey, whose daughter Sophie died before Christmas in 2018, describing his donation as ‘amazing.’
‘Allowing us to shout about it is fantastic news, especially as he’s just about the most famous film actor in the world at the moment, isn’t he?’ he said.
Wanting to make sure other families don’t have to go through the same thing they did, the three fathers took on the challenge in a bid to support other people struggling with their mental health.
“We’ve been thrown into this place. Not by choice, we didn’t choose to be here, but now we’re here, we’ve got to do something with it, and if we can help other people and other families, let’s do it,’ Mr Airy told BBC.
Mr Palmer, whose daughter Beth took her life at the start of the pandemic last year at the age of 17, said lockdown ‘plunged her into despair’ as she was unable to socialise in the same way and was cut off from friends and going to college.
He shared that ‘devastation is too small a word’ for his pain over losing his daughter, who ‘didn’t know how to reach out for help’ – something he encourages others to do.
‘Every day is different and if she’d felt able to reach out and seek help, things would have got better.’
Mr Owen’s daughter Emily, who he described as ‘the life and soul of the party,’ died by suicide aged 19 just days before Beth.
He said she ‘sometimes struggled with life,’ especially as ‘driving, working at the pub and going to the gym’ – activities which ‘were her life’ – were ‘taken from her’ as lockdown happened.
Offering advice and reassurance to those having suicidal thoughts, Mr Owen said: ‘If you’re in that place where you’re going to do something stupid, count to 10. Because the devastation you leave behind, you might think you’re doing the right thing by saving your family pain, but you’re not, you are definitely not.’
Need support? Contact the Samaritans
For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email email@example.com, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.