Sunderland DJs caged

Daniel O'Hare's story has inspired a fund-raising effort.
Daniel O'Hare's story has inspired a fund-raising effort.
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RADIO DJs will be under lock and key as they look to raise awareness about a bereavement charity.

Presenters from 107 Spark FM are spending two nights in a cage at the station’s City Hub, Market Square, in Sunderland city centre this weekend.

They will also face gruelling challenges as part of a Christmas Lock-In with trio of DJs hoping to raise cash for the If U Care, Share charity.

The organisation was created in memory of Daniel O’Hare, who hanged himself at his Chester-le-Street home, aged 19, in March 2005.

Like Daniel, 75 per cent of young men who take their own lives have no previous history of mental health problems.

Ivan Lehane, programme controller at Spark, said: “What happened to Daniel’s family, you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy.

“We all think it’s a really worthwhile cause to raise money for.”

Ivan added that the recent case of Wales football manager Gary Speed taking his own life had brought the issue of suicide back into the public conscious.

“Suicide is still a major problem that is not being dealt with,” said Ivan.

“What happened with Gary Speed showed it’s not just Average Joes who this happens to.

“We just want to give something back as everyone knows someone who has been affected by this issue.

“Spark FM is a community station and we are trying to get involve the community in Sunderland as much as possible.

“We feel that is increasing day-by-day.”

Manchester City and England footballer Micah Richardson has already pledged to help get the campaign’s message out on micro-blogging site Twitter.

Coverage on Spark FM this weekend will also see interviews and features on the topic of suicide, which it is hoped will educate listeners about the issue.

Spark’s charity challenge is also being backed by The Bridges, Sunderland University, housing provider Gentoo, Station Taxis, Lush as well as Waterstones.

The Christmas Lock-in begins on Friday night, with the winner of the charity challenge being named on Sunday.

Wristbands will also be on sale to generate cash for If U Care, Share, and will cost £1 each.

Twitter: @davidallison88