A fundraiser who is determined to bolster suicide prevention work is launching a free counselling service in Leeds, claimed to be the only one of its kind in the UK.
Colm Farrell, from County Galway, Ireland, took on an 11-month awareness raising trek through all 86 counties of the UK in 2013, inspired after a close friend took his own life four years earlier.
The 49-year-old passed through Leeds during his trip, which raised more than £30,000 for the Console suicide prevention charity, and he has since been donated an office space, in Canal Wharf, Kirkstall, to set up his own charity, Stamp Out Suicide.
He has applied for charitable status and is now appealing for donations and volunteer support from those who can help him offer free counselling services to those in crisis.
He said: “Initially I wanted to raise awareness to say there is a serious problem around suicide in this country and then it ended up becoming a fundraising thing - that wasn’t part of my original idea.
“But I was just so upset to see that there is so little help for people - it’s vitally important.
“People need to be educated in spotting the signs.”
He said he hopes that the organisation can become a centre for group sessions and bereavement counselling in future as well as offering over-the-phone advice to those who need it.
Mr Farrell claims the line will differ from the crisis support offered by The Samaritans and can lead to free, structured, regular over-the-phone counselling.
He added: “We are starting off with very limited resources but we will do our very best at all times.”