Why not take a walk of hope?

Liz Barr from Danderhall.
Liz Barr from Danderhall.

A Danderhall woman, whose son took his own life in 2011, has organised a walk for a charity which supports people who are feeling suicidal.

Liz Barr has organised the first ever Chris’s House Walk of Hope Midlothian, to be held early in the morning of May 12, to raise money for and awareness of the Wishaw-based charity. The charity’s name is abbreviated from Centre for Help Response and Intervention Surrounding Suicide. The 5k walk will start and finish at Shawfair, setting off at 4am to illustrate “walking back into the light”. Liz said: “The time is quite fitting as 92 per cent of suicides take place at night.

“Ann Rowan, who started the charity in memory of her son Chris who took his own life, has been asking me for about three years to hold a walk here as she does in Glasgow. We have got 135 people signed up just now. If we could get to 150 that would be amazing. I’m hoping to make it an annual event.

“It’s such a taboo subject which should be spoken about more. The charity is so important. If you felt suicidal and went to the doctor it would take six months to see a counsellor. With Chris’s House there is someone on the end of a phone.”

Liz’s son Johnny took his own life, aged 31. She said: “I’m seven years down the line and I still wait on my son coming in. He was the life and soul of the party. The biggest joker going And I never for one second would have thought he would have done anything like that.

“When the police came to the door I did not believe them.

“I don’t think you can ever know the signs. But people feeling like that need to know they can talk. Nothing is so wrong that it can’t be fixed.

“Young people are under so much pressure these days. It’s good to know that with Chris’s House they can go somewhere or lift a phone. The place is amazing. You feel it as soon as you go in.”

To register go to the Chris’s House -Walk of Hope-Midlothian Facebook page.