Bid to install permanent 'messages of hope' on Sunderland bridges inspired by Paige Hunter's wonderful efforts

Permanent ‘messages of hope’ could be placed on bridges across Sunderland in a bid to prevent people from attempting suicide.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 14 June, 2019, 13:53
Paige Hunter, who left comforting notes on Wearmouth Bridge

This included dozens of handwritten notes attached to posts and railings on the Wearmouth Bridge reminding people that they’re not alone.

Dominic McDonough

Now politicians have put forward a bid to make the messages a permanent fixture on key city bridges.

Dominic McDonough, who was elected to St Chad’s ward in May, will launch a motion on the issue at the next full meeting of Sunderland City Council

The councillor currently works for charity If You Care Share Foundation, which focuses on suicide prevention, intervention and supporting those bereaved by suicide.

He said if the motion is approved, the messages of hope could help save lives.

“I actually lost someone to suicide three years ago and prevention is something I’m very passionate about,” he said

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“I’m in contact with Paige and the three girls who put messages on the Tyne Bridge and if the motion goes through I’m likely to work with them on this.

“When you put these messages up they’re absolutely fantastic but can disappear or be blown off.

“It’s a really small thing but it can make a huge difference.”

Conservatives aim to work with community to design and install the signs on four city bridges.

These include the Wearmouth Bridge, Queen Alexandra Bridge, Northern Spire and A19 Bridge towards Washington.

Councillors will be asked to back the motion at Sunderland Civic Centre on Wednesday . The meeting starts at 4pm and for more information, visit: www.sunderland.gov.uk

The motion reads:

“This council will work with the community to design and install permanent messages of hope on major bridges in our city to help to prevent suicide and encourage those who are at risk of taking their own life to reconsider and access support.”