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MK to welcome Baton of Hope during national tour

During a 12-day event this summer, a special baton will be carried across the UK by families and friends bereaved by suicide, journeying from Glasgow to London.

The Baton of Hope is the UK’s biggest suicide prevention initiative and is supported by thousands of volunteers.

On Tuesday 4 July, the baton will arrive in Milton Keynes.

Designed and crafted by goldsmiths and silversmiths to the Royal family, the baton will travel from MK Rose to the Peace Pagoda. The procession will pass through several locations to be announced and will involve organisations across the city from MK Dons to local emergency services.

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and we want to share the message that nobody should be afraid to talk about how they feel. This event is a really good way to break down barriers surrounding one of the most challenging subjects within mental health. Many people struggle in silence when it comes to their mental health and ultimately, this can have a devastating impact on them and their loved ones. We’re proud to support this initiative and are working with our local partners across the city to ensure it’s a positive and memorable day. If you want to get involved, either by carrying the baton or supporting the event, please do get in touch via the Baton of Hope team. - Cllr Jane Carr, Cabinet member for Inequalities and Child Poverty

The Baton of Hope was founded by fathers Mike McCarthy and Steve Phillip who both lost a son to suicide.

In the same way the Olympic torch celebrates physical health we hope this special symbol will come to represent and promote mental wellbeing. Through its tour of the UK we hope to smash the stigma which prevents so many people from talking about their problems and prompt a public conversation about something that, for too long, has been swept under the carpet. It is a symbol for Hope and for positive change. - Mike McCarthy, Co-founder - Baton of Hope

If you have been affected by suicide and would like to apply to be a baton bearer in Milton Keynes, please apply before midnight on Sunday 21 May at

If you have any questions or represent an organisation that would like to be involved, please contact

The Samaritans are there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to listen. Call them any time on 116 123 if you need somebody to talk to.


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