The #ZeroSuicideSociety #JoinTheDotsTour 2024

This tour joined together people & organisations with current or potential ‘solutions’ and brought in people & organisations not currently involved in suicide prevention who were also identified as ‘part of the solution’.

During June 2024, to showcase The Jordan Legacy’s report; Moving Towards a Zero Suicide Society‘, co-authored and published alongside our then collaborative partner, Paul Vittles from Towards Zero Suicide CIC, the #ZeroSuicideSociety #JoinTheDotsTour was rolled out from the Humber to the Mersey.

The 12-day tour, envisaged and led by Paul Vittles and supported by The Jordan Legacy, visited several locations across the ‘M62 Corridor’ before the climax on Hope Street in Liverpool on June 23rd.

This initiative was an opportunity to bring together many who have been impacted by suicide and who share a common mission to move towards a ‘Zero Suicide Society’ – it was about joining the dots together.

The #JoinTheDotsTour began with a launch conference at The Baths Hall in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire on June 12th, in collaborative partnership with North Lincolnshire Council and Northern Lincolnshire Public Health.

The conference featured an inspiring line-up of speakers, including Professor Joe Rafferty CBE and CEO of Mersey Care NHS Trust, Co-Founder & Chair of the Zero Suicide Alliance and Julia Waters, the sister of Headteacher, Ruth Perry, who took her own life after an Ofsted inspection downgraded the primary school, which she had led for over 13 years, from ‘outstanding’ to ‘inadequate’.

There were so many powerful talks given during the day, interspersed with panel discussion sessions, including guests such as Mike Palmer from the 3 Dads Walking and Marcus Long from BSI Standards, both of whom have lost a child to suicide.

Other guest speakers/panel members covered topics relating to suicide prevention which are not often discussed, such as domestic abuse, the menopause or suicides driven by systemic injustice or institutionalised cruelty, such as in Ruth Perry’s situation or the case of the high profile post office, sub-postmasters scandal.

The Tour

The tour moved on from Scunthorpe and visited locations across Yorkshire, such as York, Leeds, Wakefield, Halifax and Huddersfield.

At each location, local ‘energy sources’ hosted community events, showcasing everything from arts, crafts and music, featuring choirs, bands, poetry readings and of course, many shared experiences of loss to suicide.

In a break from talks, workshops and music, founder of The Jordan Legacy, Steve Phillip, took his passion for cycling and created the Cycle for Life, where riders were invited to undertake a very hilly 34-mile route from Leeds, where Jordan lived, to Wakefield, where his former work colleagues at the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) were waiting with a warm and emotional welcome and much needed refreshments, before the peloton headed back to Leeds.

The #JoinTheDotsTour then moved across the Pennines, visiting locations such as Rochdale, Oldham, Wigan, Bury, Warrington, the Wirral and Liverpool, with each one showing why they are so passionate about preventing more deaths by suicide and how they are achieving this in varied and unique ways.

Throughout the Tour, there was massive support provided by tour partners  Rugby League Cares, who helped with everything from organising Tour shirts, to supporting the Cycle for Life and setting up an inspiring day at Warrington Wolves Stadium, where they provided a demonstration of their powerful ‘Offload’ mental health and wellbeing programme for professionals and ‘Ahead of the Game’ for parents who coach kids’ teams, funded by the charity Movember.

Like all good things, the #JoinTheDotsTour came to an end and on June 23rd, the tour reached the climax of this suicide prevention initiative with a Hope Gathering on Hope Street in Liverpool and the Voices of Hope Concert with Reflections at the Liverpool Arts Bar.

Still time to get your #JoinTheDotsTour shirt

Before you leave this post, there is still an opportunity for you to purchase one of these stylish #JoinTheDotsTour shirts, via the Rugby League Cares website until July 8th.

You can order your Tour Shirt for just £15 by clicking this link. All proceeds will go toward supporting suicide prevention initiatives.

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