Just outlined today a joint event FoLaD and SOS (Silence of Suicide – Yvette Greenway and Michael Mansfield’s charity) on Sunday 25th March, 2-6pm (exact times to be finalised).
Venue is the fabulous new George Davies Centre (opposite Attenborough Arts Centre), provided by University of Leicester’s Health Matters community project.
Willie Thorne, new SOS ambassador, will speak and attend with his wife Jill. Michael Mansfield and Yvette Greenway will speak and show a video or two, and host discussions.
The SOS events are really wonderful. https://www.sossilenceofsuicide.org/
Subject to confirmations FoLaD will also arrange speakers/performers.. Freddie Ferrier could come and play a few songs, subject to his filming schedule. Other guests too.
Again subject to space/rooms and numbers and agreement with University it would be good to organise a sort of pop-up cafe, tea coffee and cakes vibe too, and opportunity for other wellness and mental health elements. If you want to be involved please email. If not this event then another one later in the year in the build-up to the Festival day on 8th September.
The 25th March event will be free and ticketed (so we have an idea of numbers) via the SOS website.
More details will follow.
- After our formal invitation to Sir Peter Soulsby/City Council at the end of December, and then several other messages from members of the FoLaD organising team and supporters (thank you all), a meeting is now being arranged in early February with Leicester City Council (Public Health, Arts, Events senior people) to involve the City Council in Leicester FoLaD – so we can build the FoLaD Leicester hub event as helpfully and effectively as possible. This is obviously a crucial and very positive development.
- FoLaD now has excellent and growing connections with Leicester County Council too, Leicestershire Partnership Trust, Leicester Hospitals, and other agencies, notably Samaritans.
- The collaboration with Dr Marie Nugent’s Health Matters project and team at University of Leicester is immensely powerful.
- Venues and collaboration have also been established (today) for FoLaD to have a very meaningful and very exciting presence in (East) London. Many more London venues will follow.
- Bournemouth FoLaD is progressing, and I’m meeting with Erica Brown and her team on 22 Feb at their launch.
- Brisbane Australia is now (just this evening, or morning in Australia..) established – yoga and music – and we will build it from there with Davina Donovan (https://dhammaandco.com.au/). Thank you Davina, and thank you Dawn too.
- Work is beginning on developing partners/venues FoLaD events in New Zealand, Paris, and USA.
- I’ve also received personal support from Labour Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth, and LibDem Shadow Baroness Judith Jolly. Green Party co-leader and Brighton MP Caroline Lucas has also sent a message of support.
- The pioneer of the successful and inspirational Detroit Zero Suicides Model, Dr Ed Coffey, has offered his support to FoLaD, and to speak at FoLaD 8th September 2018. The ZSM has been adopted and adapted internationally, including Merseycare in the UK. Please note that the term ‘Zero Suicide’ must be used with great care, and the reference to the Detroit ZS model here very definitely does not advocate the term’s adoption and use in public engagement, treatment or support services; on the contrary. In many situations the term ‘Zero Suicide’ could suggest that responsibility or blame exists with people who are suicidal. Also to many people the ZS term suggests ‘zero tolerance’, which is associated with crime prevention – extreme opposite and counter-productive to the philosophy and ideas of FoLaD and other modern helpful approaches to suicide and suicide bereavement.
We now need more help to post on Twitter and Facebook please, and also volunteers to reach out nationally and internationally to suicide bereavement support groups, and similar support groups for people struggling with any aspect of mental or other life challenges, especially to develop connections/footholds in South Africa, New Zealand, and UK generally. Doing this is much more simple than it might seem – at the most basic level it’s simply informing people of the event and website, and explaining it’s global and open to everyone to do their own thing. If you want to do this (reach out to other groups) and would like a bit of guidance please ask me.
After the meeting with Leicester City Council (early Feb), the Leicester FoLaD will take a more tangible shape and clear roles and tasks will emerge.
The next Leicester FoLaD planning meeting is Monday 26th Feb, 7pm. If you’d like to be involved please email.
If you’d like to be added to the Whatsapp FoLaD group also please email, or ask someone who’s already in it.
FoLaD is open to all, and welcomes every idea and any support that’s offered.
Thanks for everyone’s help so far.