1. ITV Report

Inspiring messages on Stoke-on-Trent bridge in effort to prevent suicides

Volunteers have been putting messages of inspiration on the bridge over the A50. Credit: BPM Media

Inspirational messages have been put up at a bridge where a mother-of-one fell to her death.

Stephanie Housley, 34, from Staffordshire died on 11 March. While the circumstances surrounding her tragic death have yet to be ascertained, organisers behind the messages hope to reach out to people struggling with mental health issues and who may be contemplating taking their own life.

Volunteers hope the messages remind people they are loved and to keep going. Credit: BPM Media

On Sunday (24 March) volunteers decorated the bridge on the A50 in Meir, Staffordshire, with messages of hope, as well as helpline numbers which they hope will result in lives being saved.

Their efforts were backed by the Bridge The Gap project, which has decorated motorway bridges across Manchester with inspirational quotes.

Notes left on the bridge included ‘choose to keep going’, ‘suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem’, and ‘just wanted to let you know, you are loved’.

Volunteers want to put the messages of hope on bridges across Stoke-on-Trent. Credit: BPM Media

The Bridge The Gap project was launched by Lisa Barnes in Manchester last June. A year earlier she had stood on the top of a railway bridge in Tameside and contemplated taking her own life. She was there for three hours before a negotiator managed to talk her down.

The quotes are all there to hopefully make someone think twice. Hopefully we are going to decorate all the bridges in Stoke-on-Trent and go along the A50 and A500.”

– Rachael Birks, Volunteer

Meanwhile, police have issued an appeal for witnesses as they look to piece together Stephanie Housley’s final movements before the 34-year-old, of Meir, fell from the bridge at 6.45pm on Monday 11 March.

Anyone with information should call 101 and quote incident 656.