Permanent ‘messages of hope’ could be placed on bridges across Sunderland in a bid to prevent people from attempting suicide.
Last year, Sunderland teen Paige Hunter was recognised by Northumbria Police for her work reaching out to people in despair.
This included dozens of handwritten notes attached to posts and railings on the Wearmouth Bridge reminding people that they’re not alone.
Now, Sunderland’s Conservative group hope to make the messages a permanent fixture on key city bridges.
And they will use the next full meeting of Sunderland City Council to secure a debate on the issue.
Dominic McDonough, who was elected to St Chad’s ward in May, will launch the motion.
The councillor currently works for charity ‘If You Care Share Foundation’, which focuses on suicide prevention, intervention and supporting those bereaved by suicide.
If the motion is approved, he explained, the messages of hope could help save lives.
Cllr McDonough said:
“I actually lost someone to suicide three years ago and prevention is something I’m very passionate about.
“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 next Thursday (20th June).
The meeting starts at 4pm and for more information, visit here.
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.”