3 Dads Walking complete charity walk to all UK Parliaments to raise awareness of suicide prevention

Report by Granada Reports correspondent Mel Barham

Three dads who took on the challenge to walk to all four parliaments in a mission to get suicide awareness on the national curriculum have completed their mammoth challenge.

Mike Palmer, from Greater Manchester, Andy Airey from Cumbria and Tim Owen, from Norfolk, known as 3 Dads Walking, took on their latest challenge to walk to the Parliaments of the UK in a 600-mile walk to raise funds for suicide prevention charity Papyrus.

They have done it all in memory of their daughters, Beth, Sophie and Emily, who all died after taking their own lives.

Mike, from Sale spoke after the walk to say he believes all their daughters would be proud of the work they are doing, and by raising awareness of suicide at school it will give young people and their families 'a second chance'.

It was a journey that began in Belfast in September, where they walked to the Northern Ireland assembly at Stormont.

A flight to Edinburgh followed, where they continued their walk from the Scottish parliament at Holyrood.

And from there they walked down the country, through the North West and down to the Welsh Assembly at the Senedd, before walking across to London.

Beth, Sophie and Emily - who all died by suicide. Their dads have fought to raise awareness ever since Credit: 3 Dads Walking

At every step, they have had support. Strangers and friends have provided accommodation and food.

Some have been inspired to walk with them or share their own stories of bereavement.

Some have even described how the ‘3 Dads Walking’ inspired them to seek support.

“We’re just three old blokes walking and talking,” says Tim. “It’s really humbling to know we’ve saved lives. It’s made us cry several times.”

Route walked by 3 Dads Walking Credit: ITV News

They walk in their daughter's memory - but also to urge people to talk about their mental health and to call for suicide prevention to be taught in schools.

Granada Reports Correspondent Mel Barham has been following their journey and spoke to Mike as they completed their final leg towards Westminster

Their aim is to raise awareness of suicide - they want it spoken about in schools in a safe and age-appropriate way.

The set out to get 100,000 signatures on the online petition so the government has to respond to the proposal and the issue can be debated in parliament - a target they reached on Friday.

In 2021 the trio walked 300 miles between their homes, raising more than £800,000 for suicide prevention charity Papyrus.

They also succeeded in getting people talking about suicide awareness.

Mike says the trio were "absolutely overwhelmed" by the reaction to their first walk, having set themselves a modest target to raise around £10,000.

They eventually earned nearly £900,000 in sponsorship, thanks in part to donations from the likes of film stars Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, and hope their next challenge will take them past the £1 million milestone.

The dads have become so well-known they have even had a song written about them by folk group Young 'Uns.

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