Tyne & Wear

'Messages of hope' for Sunderland's bridges

Paige Hunter note
Image caption Paige Hunter attached dozens of uplifting notes to posts and railings on the Wearmouth Bridge

Permanent "messages of hope" are to be installed on a city's bridges to help prevent suicides.

The move was inspired by Sunderland teenager, Paige Hunter, who attached dozens of uplifting notes to posts and railings on the Wearmouth Bridge, in a bid to reach out to those in despair.

They did not last long due to exposure to the weather, but were credited with helping save a number of lives.

Councillors have now agreed to make them a permanent fixture.

The motion, launched by a Conservative councillor on the Labour-controlled authority received unanimous backing, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

'Overwhelmed and thankful'

Councillor Dominic McDonough, who works for a charity that focuses on suicide prevention and intervention, said: "Every single suicide is a tragedy.

"It's a bomb that destroys not just one life but the lives of everyone who is connected with the person who is lost.

"The most tragic thing is that suicide is preventable and these lives can be saved."

The signs will be designed in collaboration with the community and aim to encourage those at risk of taking their own life to reconsider and seek support.

Ms Hunter said she was "overwhelmed and thankful" to know her work would be made permanent.

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