The Baton of Hope 2023
Mind BLMK are proud to be supporting the ‘Baton of Hope’ campaign to help raise suicide awareness and prevention.
Suicide is the biggest killer of people under 35 in the UK, more than in traffic accidents and in cancer. 17 people will die of suicide today, and tomorrow, and the next day. And every single one is potentially preventable.
#BatonOfHopeUK is designed to be the biggest suicide awareness and prevention initiative the UK has ever seen, opening up necessary conversations and prompting appropriate actions.
As part of the campaign, we created a short video highlighting it’s importance – which you can view HERE.
The campaign was set up by Mike McCarthy and Steve Phillip after the pair made contact following the death of their sons, Ross and Jordan to suicide. Steve said:
“We were brought together through tragic circumstances – two fathers sharing common grief. Each wanting to make a difference, and determined that the death of our sons should not be in vain. Through our friendship, we recognised that by creating unity of purpose we could shake things up and create a movement that we hope will stop so many people taking their own lives.”
Together Mike and Steve became persuasive advocates for change in UK suicide prevention policy; they were invited to meet the Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid MP, then Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to share their knowledge and lived experience.
As well as briefing him on the vital actions needed from across Government – especially, but not just, the Department for Health and Social Care – Mike and Steve were also able to secure Mr Javid’s endorsement and support for their Baton of Hope campaign which was announced on BBC Breakfast the following day.
About the Baton
The Baton of Hope Organisers gratefully accepted an offer from Thomas Lyte, goldsmiths and silversmiths to the late Queen Elizabeth II, and makers of the Emirates FA Cup and other exquisite trophies.
The Baton is not just a beautiful blend of precious metals. Nor is it simply a skilful piece of design craftsmanship. Its inherent value is its visual link with the vitally important objectives of the ‘Baton of Hope’ movement.
Everything about the design is directional, pointing upwards from the foot to the top of the Baton. This represents a journey of hope – of moving bravely away from the darkness of despair and, with encouragement and support, discovering a way into the light and a brighter future.
The Tour & Mind BLMK’s Involvement
The specially designed baton will tour UK towns and cities for two weeks in Summer 2023.
BLMK has been selected as one of the stops in Milton Keynes on the 4th of July 2023, and together with our partners and colleagues, we will be joining forces at Stadium MK over lunch, to showcase our services at the Suicide Prevention Conference.
This is a high profile event for Mind BLMK and we are super proud to be involved in the planning, both with Public Health and Milton Keynes Council.
Click here to read the BLMK agenda and Baton journey for the day:
The Baton will end its journey at the Peace Pagoda at 5.30pm, where The Scouts will welcome it in with a ‘Guard of Honour.’ Mind BLMK and CHUMS will be available to talk to anyone about the support they provide for those bereaved by suicide. The day will end with music on the Peace Pagoda stage, and some final words from Baton of Hope co-founder, Mike McCarthy.
Posted on: 4th June 2023