Daughter hosts #HOPEwalk for suicide charity

Suicide Awareness Walk from Hunstanton
Walkers with organiser, Cherrelle Blake, back left, before setting out on their walk
Suicide Awareness Walk from Hunstanton Walkers with organiser, Cherrelle Blake, back left, before setting out on their walk

Supporters of a national charity which aims to prevent young people from taking their own lives gathered for a fundraising walk in West Norfolk at the weekend.

The Hope Walk, which covered a route from Hunstanton to Thornham on Saturday, is one of a series of similar events that are being held across the country in the coming months for Papyrus UK.

It is part of Papyrus’s current campaign: Save the Class of 2018.

The charity says suicide is the biggest killer of people under 35 in Britain, with 1,659 taking their own lives in 2015 alone, the equivalent of four a day.

It also estimates that more than 200 schoolchildren take their own lives every year.

The walk started in Hunstanton and ended at The Deli at Thornham with the main aim of publicising the vitally important work of the charity, but also to raise money for the cause.

The initiative was the idea of Cherrelle Blake from North Wootton, whose father took his own life nearly a decade ago.

She said: “It’s a small national charity set up years ago by a couple who had lost their son.

“When I lost my dad 10 years ago next April I found them and ever since then I’ve been trying to fund-raise for them.”

She was pleased when nearly 40 supporters turned out to take part in the event.

She said: “I’ve already raised around £400 and I hope we’ll make some more from the walk itself.”

Although many young people are at risk the charity can also help older people. “Up to forty and even older,” said Ms Blake.

“There was no one doing a Hope Walk in the East so I decided, if no one was doing one, I would do one.”

The charity has no local branch but relies on individuals like Ms Blake to support them.

Apart from its main aim of preventing young people from taking their own lives and supporting survivors, other aims include raising awareness of the problem and equipping staff in schools and colleges with suicide prevention skills.

Their work is backed up by their HOPELineUK, which can be reached on 08000 684141.

Lines are open from 10am to 10pm on weekdays, 2pm- 10pm at weekends and 2pm-5pm on bank holidays.

The charity can also be contacted by email at: pat@papyrus-uk.org or by text message to 07786 209697