The Baton of Hope tour – the UK’s biggest-ever suicide awareness and prevention initiative – culminated today when the Baton of Hope was handed over to Downing Street.
Designed, crafted and donated by Thomas Lyte, Goldsmiths and Silversmiths to the late Queen Elizabeth II and makers of the Emirates FA Cup, the baton visited 12 UK cities across 12 days to highlight the magnitude of the suicide crisis in which seventeen people take their own lives every day.
On its journey, the baton was carried by notable personalities, those with lived experience of mental ill health, bereaved families and friends, and people with their own inspiring stories of hope. This included charity ambassadors and supporters Dr Alex George, the UK Youth Mental Health Ambassador, Sheffield Wednesday and Wales midfielder Will Vaulks, and Norman Cook, aka DJ Fatboy Slim.
The Baton of Hope charity was co-founded by Mike McCarthy, whose son Ross battled depression for a decade before taking his own life in 2021. Ross left behind a young son, a fiancée, and a heartfelt request that his family campaign for better mental health support.
H+K has been proud to support this campaign on a pro bono basis, using our national and media relationships to draw attention to the initiative. In doing so, we hope our efforts have not only supported Mike’s wish to boost the national conversation about suicide but also encourage H+K’ers to focus on their own wellness and wellbeing.
Many thanks to everyone in our team who has given their time to support this important work.