Why I’m supporting the Baton of Hope

10th May 2023

The Baton of Hope is coming to Brighton on 5th July and I am loving being part of the team organising the day.

How did I get involved…

I saw a post by the brilliant Rose Rowkins from Start the Conversation saying that she had taken on the role of the Brighton Lead for the Baton of Hope, and I thought it sounded like a great initiative and something that links with what I am doing at Hexagon Hive supporting organisations to support their team’s mental health and wellbeing through training, audits and mentoring. I thought it would be a bit of volunteering on the day, Rose invited me to go along to the kick off meeting and the rest is history!

Why did I get involved with the Brighton Planning Team…

I totally believe in the Baton of Hope and everything it is setting out to achieve and feel this is the change that is needed to start conversations and break the stigma of suicide and mental health and give people the skills needed to recognise when they or others need help and support and how to access it.  It will help everyone to have the knowledge, skills and confidence to spot the signs someone isn’t ok, to start and have a conversation and know where to signpost. This is incredibly powerful and will saves lives. Every one of us can learn how to support ourselves and others and to know that there is always HOPE.

The Team
The Baton of Hope is made up of an incredible team of volunteers locally and nationally many of whom have been personally impacted by loved ones dying by suicide or having lived experience. It is bringing together lots of amazing individuals, small charities, organisations and campaigns around the UK who have one shared goal and mission – to reduce the number of suicides in the UK. The number of people dying by suicide has consistently been over 6,000 per year and that is 6,000 too many. Our brilliant local team in Brighton are inspiring, hard-working, kind, thoughtful and committed to making an incredible day filled with hope. Joining Rose Rowkins are Lauren Carvalho, Hema Patel, Nick Brown, Marc Convey, Jacqui Partridge and Ian Silcock and we are supported by the fantastic and incredibly supportive members of the national organising committee including Tanya Marwaha, Jenny Rayner, Alice Scutchey and Ashley Redsell. The drive and passion of everyone involved is incredible.

What has being part of the Baton of Hope taught me so far…

  • There is so much kindness out there, people and organisations have been incredible at wanting to get involved and help this incredible cause and saying YES
  • Marc Convey – helping engage the Brighton Business Community, he will be speaking during the day sharing his story of post traumatic thrive
  • Dan Flanagan – creating a Dad La Soul event especially for the Baton of Hope in conjunction with Plus X
  • Fiona Anderson and Alicia Sullivan from Plus X saying yes to getting PlusX involved and supporting the Baton of Hope Team with making the Dad La Soul event happen and meeting space for the Brighton Team
  • Mike Monk from Brighton & Hove Business Show – creating a bigger stand to accommodate the Baton of Hope with the Hexagon Hive Stand. Looking forward to the 8th June.
  • Sam Thomas – for sharing his knowledge and experience of hosting numerous events and is supporting the Baton of Hope through Sussex Business TimesRadio ReverbBig Business Breakfast and much more!
  • Justin Howard from Blue Billboards for helping to arrange billboards across numerous Sussex location in the coming weeks.
  • Chris Mclelland at Clear Channel and B&H Council helping to arrange Billboards and Bus Stop advertising the week prior to the event
  • Rockwater for hosting a Business Leaders Breakfast and being so accommodating and supportive
  • This is just for starters, every day more and more people are saying yes!!
  • I have loved being part of a team again, I used to lead a large team and since starting my new business it has been just me! It’s made me realise how much I value being part of something bigger and especially when it’s such a a great initiative.
  • I love ideas!  The Baton of Hope was an incredible idea created by two dads Mike McCarthy and Steve Philip wanting to prevent futher suicides and ensuring everyone gets the help and support they need. To come up with an idea like this on such a huge scale, with the logistics involved in running events in 12 towns and cities is visionary and to see it coming to fruition and people coming together and already starting the conversations and creating awareness is inspiring, I can’t wait to see the momentum build once the tour is in place. I am just a small part of one local team, but I have loved coming up with ideas and getting creative to help make the Brighton Event be as impactful and as inspiring as possible.

How can you get involved…

The route is sorted, the venues are booked and now we want to get people involved. If you want to be one of those individuals or organisations that says YES read on…

  • If you have been impacted by suicide and would like to honour a loved one or have lived experience then please register to be a baton-bearer to walk the baton for approx. 300 metres in Brighton and Hove or another town or city on the route https://batonofhopeuk.org/become-a-baton-bearer/  . The closing date is Sunday 14th May at 10pm
  • We are looking for acts, performers, stories of hope – if you or someone you know would like to become involved in one of the events during the day including a large event for 1000 to 2000 people at the end of the day, please let us know. More information to follow on the events. We are in talks with some big-name acts but need more so if you know of anyone who would be interested in performing, please share.
  • We are also looking for volunteers on the day (5th July) to help with stewarding, at each of the events, being involved in setting up the event spaces, a listening ear for those taking part and watching. Sign up here if you are interested in helping or learning more https://batonofhopeuk.org/contact-interest/
  • Please follow #BatonOfHopeUK on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram and share posts with others. We can all break the stigma, raise awareness, and help prevent further lives being lost.
  • We are also looking for sponsorship for the Brighton Leg and events during the day and nationally. If your organisation would like to get involved, please get in touch.
  • The Workplace and Education Charters are coming soon, I will share when they are live.
  • Watch this space…we will soon be revealing the exciting events planned on the day around the city and how you can watch the baton relay and get involved in one of the events.