Charitable trust to be launched in honour of Rose Paterson

A trust is to be launched in memory of Rose Paterson, wife of the north Shropshire MP, who took her life last year.

Rose Paterson
Rose Paterson

The Rose Paterson Trust will be launched on April 10, the day of the Grand National. Rose was chairman of the Aintree Racecourse where the race is held.

Owen Paterson will launch the trust with his sons Felix, 34, Ned, 32 and daughter Evie, 28. It was recently awarded charitable status and will be dedicated to raising money for suicide prevention, suicide bereavement and projects promoting mental and physical health.

The former Conservative minister says his wife's death has completely devastated the whole family and says seven months after her death he still goes to ring her.

Owen and Rose Paterson

Mr Paterson said; "If raising money and raising awareness of suicide can save one life then it will be worth it. If one person can see how much their suicide would affect their family, or if one person asks another if they are OK and it prevents a suicide we will have done some good."

After the pain of Christmas without his wife, last week Mr Paterson had to cope with what should have been his and Rose's 41st wedding anniversary.

"It is so so difficult," he said.

He said it was talking to other families who were suffering the anguish of suicide that had helped the family decision to set up the trust,

"They have talked about how it helps them to get up in the morning because they have a meeting with someone about their charity."

But what is truly behind the trust is the family's wish that others do not suffer what they are suffering.

"If by talking about our devastation and about Rose, we can help stop one suicide, help stop one family going through what we are going through, it will have been worth it," he said.

He said initially the trust would raise money for established charities working to prevent suicide or to help the bereaved.

Mrs Paterson died in June last year. Her body was found in woodland at the family's home near Ellesmere.

The MP said his main message was to talk.

"If you are worried about someone talk to them. If you are yourself having suicidal thoughts, tell someone."

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