Project hosts Baton of Hope

Translink’s Belfast Grand Central and Weavers Cross Project team were delighted to be the second stop on the Baton of Hope UK tour of Belfast today.

Staff from Translink’s Belfast Grand Central Station and Weavers Cross project, along with colleagues from the main works contractor Farrans Sacyr, joined together to support Baton of Hope carriers as they made their way across Belfast.

The Baton of Hope project was set up by Mike McCarthy and Steve Phillip, who both lost their sons to suicide and have since joined together to develop a UK-wide suicide awareness and prevention initiative, opening up necessary conversations and prompting appropriate actions. The Belfast visit is part of a two-week Baton of Hope tour of UK towns and cities, raising the profile of suicide awareness.

As part of the Belfast event the baton was carried by volunteers who began their journey at Queen’s University Belfast before stopping at Belfast Grand Central Station project offices, where Translink hosted a staff event to promote mental health. Baton of Hope volunteers were then given a guard of honour send off as they continued to travel across the city to Stormont.

Commenting on the event, Duncan McAllister from Translink’s Belfast Grand Central Station and Weavers Cross Project, said, “We’re delighted to have been able to support Baton of Hope on their journey across Belfast and help promote the important message of looking after your mental health. It’s fantastic to see the positive impact the team at Baton of Hope are having and we wish them success as they continue on the tour.”

Suicide is the biggest killer of men and women under 35 in the UK and the Baton of Hope Tour is designed to be the biggest suicide awareness and prevention initiative the UK has ever seen. The campaign looks to open up necessary conversations and promote appropriate actions.

The specially designed baton will tour UK towns and cities over the next 2 weeks, raising the profile of this issue like never before. Together we can reduce the stigma, and get better at asking questions, listening, and directing people to the right help.

The tour, which started in Glasgow on Sunday 25th June 2023, has made its way to Edinburgh, Newcastle, Sheffield and Manchester before arriving in Belfast today 30th June. On departing NI the baton will visit, Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham, Milton Keynes and Brighton before reaching it’s final destination, 10 Downing Street, London.

It was great to be part of such an important campaign and we wish those taking part good luck for the rest of the journey.

If you would like more information on Baton of Hope you can visit their website here