James Bond actor Daniel Craig sends 3 Dads Walking message of support

Video report by ITV Granada Reports' journalist, Mel Barham, who has been following the 3 Dads on their journey. They reached the North West on Sunday, 18 September.


James Bond actor Daniel Craig has sent a heartfelt message of support to three fathers who have lost young daughters to suicide.

The 3 Dads Walking are currently on a 600-mile trek across the UK, calling for suicide prevention to be included in the school curriculum.

In a surprise video message to the bereaved fathers, Mr Craig describes them as “truly, truly heroic.”      

The actor has already donated £10,000 to Papyrus Prevention of Young Suicide, the national charity they support.


  • Daniel Craig and Ricky Hatton send heartfelt message to 3 Dads Walking.


In his video he says to the dads: “Shout loudly, I know you’ll be heard. All my very best. Good luck.” 

Andy Airey from Cumbria, Mike Palmer from Greater Manchester and Tim Owen from Norfolk say they are totally overwhelmed by his kindness.

Mike said: “It was absolutely brilliant of Daniel Craig to do that for us. It means so much to us and it just shows that we are getting suicide talked about. That’s the whole point of why we are doing this."  

The actor’s personal tribute is among moving messages from a host of celebrities, sporting heroes and families who have been bereaved by suicide including Hyde boxer Ricky Hatton.

The route the 3 Dads are taking Credit: ITV News

Last year the 3 Dads Walking teamed-up to trek 300-miles to raise money and awareness for the charity Papyrus.

This year they are aiming to double that distance by walking 600-miles between the parliaments of all four UK nations.

They started at Stormont in Northern Ireland on 9 September before heading through Scotland. They are currently walking through northern England to Wales before ending their challenge at Westminster on 10 October.  

Their deeply personal family stories of suicide have attracted global media attention.

Last year, Hollywood star Nicole Kidman matched Daniel Craig’s charity donation of £10,000 as did Manchester United soccer legend Lou Macari, who lost his son to suicide.  

The 3 Dads on their walk Credit: ITV News

The 3 Dads Walking have since raised more than £880,000 as part of their quest to make suicide prevention a compulsory part of the school curriculum.

They are walking in memory of their daughters 17-year-old Beth Palmer, 19-year-old Emily Owen and Sophie Airey who was aged 29. 

Andy Airey, from Morland near Penrith, said: “Around 200 schoolchildren are lost to suicide every year. That is both a tragedy and a national scandal which needs to be addressed.   

“Our walk is to provide a focus for continuing the conversation with governments about embedding suicide prevention in the school curriculum.

"Young people want to know more about mental wellbeing and where to get help and schools have a vital role to play in saving young lives.“

All three dads lost their daughters to suicide and have fought to raise awareness ever since.

Mike Palmer, from Sale in Greater Manchester, added: “We’re walking for a month and we’ll be talking for a month.

"Talking about how we need to equip our young people with life-skills which they can carry through the rest of their lives to protect themselves and others.” 

Tim Owen from Shouldham in Norfolk said: “It’s going to be an epic walk. It’s obviously double the distance of our last walk, double the time and so hopefully we’ll meet double the people.

“Papyrus works across all four nations and so it makes sense to have a route across Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England and the seats of power where people can unlock this and potentially save lives.”    

Ged Flynn, chief executive of Papyrus, says the 3 Dads Walking are already lifesavers.

“Andy, Mike and Tim are helping to start conversations in homes where families were unwilling to discuss suicide.

"It is remarkable that these proud fathers, who are each trying to deal with their own grief in their own way, have found a positive path forward together,” he said.

The 3 Dads Walking petition to make suicide prevention a compulsory part of the school curriculum can be found here

If you would like to donate to 3 Dads Walking, or track their journey from all four parliaments, visit their website.

Worried about mental health?

CALM

CALM, or the Campaign Against Living Miserably, runs a free and confidential helpline and webchat – open from 5pm to midnight every day, for anyone who needs to talk about life’s problems.

It also supports those bereaved by suicide, through the Support After Suicide Partnership (SASP).

  • Phone their helpline: 0800 585858 (Daily, 5pm to midnight)

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Mind

Mind is a mental health charity which promotes the views and needs of people with mental health issues.

It provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem, and campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

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PAPYRUS

For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice you can contact PAPYRUS HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039967 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org

Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK. PAPYRUS aims to reduce the number of young people who take their own lives by breaking down the stigma around suicide and equipping people with the skills to recognise and respond to suicidal behaviour.

HOPELINEUK is the charity’s confidential helpline service providing practical advice and support to young people with thoughts of suicide and anyone concerned about a young person who may have thoughts of suicide.

HOPELINEUK is staffed by trained professionals, offering a telephone, text and email service.

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Samaritans

Samaritans is an organisation offering confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

  • Phone 116 123 (a free 24 hour helpline)

  • Email: jo@samaritans.org

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YoungMinds

YoungMinds is a resource with information on child and adolescent mental health, but also offers services for parents and professionals.

It is the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people's mental health, and wants to make sure all young people can get the mental health support they need, when they need it

  • YoungMinds Textline - Text YM to 85258

  • Phone Parents' helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am - 4pm)

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