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GOGA joins ‘Baton of Hope’ journey to Downing Street

Get Out Get Active partners have helped a ‘Baton of Hope’ on its journey to 10 Downing Street to raise awareness of suicide prevention. 

Group of people with the Baton of Hope, ready to support the journey.

#BatonOfHopeUK is designed to be the biggest suicide awareness and prevention initiative the UK has ever seen, starting necessary conversations and encouraging people to take action. The specially designed baton went on tour across UK towns and cities for two weeks in Summer 2023. Its design, pointing upwards from the foot to the top of the Baton, represents a journey of hope.  

GOGA has influenced and encouraged organisations across the UK to do things differently when it comes to physical activity. It strengthens community spirit, increases confidence, and improves mental health. 

GOGA volunteer Simon Booth leads the GOGA Bassetlaw Men’s Walk and Talk sessions that helps participants make new friends and boost their wellbeing whilst being active. Simon supported the initiative by providing mental health first aid to the participants involved in the tour. Many of whom had experienced the loss of loved ones through suicide. 

Simon had this to say about the opportunity: 

I was very honoured to be asked to support the Baton of Hope on its journey to Number 10 Downing Street. GOGA gave me the opportunity to gain the skills and support me in this opportunity. We can reduce the stigma, get better at asking questions, listening, directing people to the right help, and start a drive towards getting the conversation started to raise awareness. Together we can save lives.

Simon Booth, GOGA Volunteer.

Paula Graham, GOGA Bassetlaw Manager also supported the Baton of Hope on its tour across the UK. Both Simon and Paula worked closely with the team to select participants and support them on their leg of the journey.  

Paula said:  

In Bassetlaw suicide rates are very high. It’s important that we raise awareness of suicide through initiatives like the Baton of Hope. I wanted to do everything I can to squash the stigma around this subject. 

Paula Graham, GOGA Bassetlaw Manager.

The journey aim was to impact thousands across the country with a simple message, ‘Where there is hope there is a real opportunity to save lives.’ 

GOGA is extremely proud of Paula and Simon for their involvement in this initiative and their aim of bringing the Baton of Hope and its values to Bassetlaw.  

Visit the Baton of Hope website for more information. 

For more information around suicide prevention please visit the Samaritans website. 

About Get Out Get Active 

Get Out Get Active (GOGA) is a programme that supports disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together. Activity Alliance is the creator and lead partner. The programme is funded by Spirit of 2012, Sport England and London Marathon Foundation.  

Find out more about Get Out Get Active here