More than £200,000 awarded to suicide prevention charities by Rose Paterson Trust

The trust set up in memory of Rose Paterson has given more than £200,000 to charities working to prevent suicide.

The trust set up in memory of Rose Paterson has awarded more than £200,000 to charity.
The trust set up in memory of Rose Paterson has awarded more than £200,000 to charity.

The announcement comes as the country marks National Suicide Prevention Week.

The Rose Paterson Trust was set up in memory of the 63-year-old former chair of Aintree Racecourse, who took her own life in June 2020.

It has now confirmed it has given a total of £216,500 to 12 charities this year as it continues efforts to support groups which save lives.

The trust said the selection process emphasised two areas – innovative, progressive approaches to suicide prevention, and direct intervention at suicide hotspots.

Mrs Paterson's husband, Owen Paterson,chairman of the trust and former North Shropshire MP, said he hoped the funding would make a real difference to people's lives.

"These 12 charities save lives. That is why we are delighted to support their work of combatting suicide," he said.

"When we started The Rose Paterson Trust, we said that if we saved just one family from the agony of suicide it will have been worth it.

"Thanks to the amazing life-saving work of the charities we have supported so far, many hundreds of lives have already been saved.

"As a result of the grants we are announcing today, we hope many hundreds more will be saved in the future. Our message is clear: suicide is preventable. For anyone who is feeling suicidal, please ask for help. Treatment and support are available for anyone who is feeling desperate.”

In the announcement the trust said that each of the selected charities is "small in organisational scale but giant in terms of their passion for the work".

It added: "Their approaches to suicide prevention are effective and demonstrate real, tangible results.

"Small charities are often overlooked by funding organisations, despite having a huge impact on their service users, community, and region.

"The grants provided by The Rose Paterson Trust are therefore crucial, enabling the continuation of vital programmes, recruitment of staff, and the growth of life-saving organisations."

The charities selected include groups across the country – as well as Shropshire Mental Health Support (MHS).

Other groups include 'Bearded Fishermen', a Gainsborough based charity which was given £17,500.

The trust said it had been impressed with their StreetWatch Liaison team who walk the streets at night, no matter the weather, to make sure they are present should someone need support.

The group also has a crisis response team, which works closely with emergency services, and are immediately on hand should someone call in distress.

The Rose Paterson Trust grant will be used to boost their phoneline capacity, increase volunteer training and cover the cost of core equipment for the StreetWatch Liaison Team – including radios and weather protective clothing, among other overheads including fuel.

They hope that the grant will help them cover three additional areas, equip 20 new volunteers and set up four new groups.

Another recipient is The Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team (BHCT), which also received £17,500.

BHCT patrols 4.5 miles of coastal cliffs for 15 hours a day to ensure they are there for suicidal and despondent people.

The team also links with Sussex Police and assist searches for missing people.

Using care, compassion and negotiation BHCT volunteers intervene at a critical point for people contemplating suicide.

Chaplains are specially trained for the challenging conversations and during 2022 they interacted with more than 500 people, successfully helping 99 per cent.

Also, during 2022 BHCT assisted Sussex Police with over 400 searches, saving nearly 100 additional people.

The grant will employ two additional chaplains for 15 hours per week, helping respond to a 33 per cent increase in interventions from the previous year.

Tech charity Ripple Suicide Prevention was also awarded £30,000 for its leading work in delivering a platform which intercepts harmful internet searches.

Ripple replaces content with a message of hope and signposting toward appropriate local support.

This software is described as a "game changer" in the fight against suicide, with huge potential for scale and widespread adoption.

It has been downloaded 950,000 times across businesses, schools and universities, home computers and other areas, and has resulted in more than 5,000 harmful searches being intercepted.

Ripple, despite only starting in 2021, is now available in 13 languages across 35 countries.

The trust grant will support Ripple with two main areas. Firstly, provide funding to help with technical development.

The next step for Ripple is to become compatible with smartphones and tablets, ensuring reach is maximised

Secondly, the grant will provide resources to increase marketing.

Commenting on the grant, Alice Hendy, Founder of Ripple Suicide Prevention said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be the beneficiary of The Rose Paterson Trust.

"Our mission is to prevent suicide via innovative, digital means and stop other families from losing a loved one to suicide. This funding will enable our charity to develop our technology and expand our reach globally, saving many more lives in the process.”

The full list of those awarded grants is:

• Every Life Matters (Cumbria)

• Zest NI (Derry)

• Stable Lives (Parbold, Lancs)

• Shropshire MHS (Shrewsbury)

• Suicide Prevention Bristol (Bristol and Bath)

• R;pple Suicide Prevention (National)

• Pillar Kincardine (Kincardine & South Aberdeenshire)

• If U Care Share Foundation (Chester-Le-Street)

• Salute Her (Northumberland)

• Bearded Fishermen (Gainsborough)

• Kintsugi Hope (Essex)

• Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team (Eastbourne)

*When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at jo@samaritans.org, or visit samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.

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