On Friday 29 January 2016, SOS – Silence Of Suicide held SOS2 in the village hall at Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire.
Even though the weather was dismal – windy and prone to prolonged outbursts of heavy rain, that didn’t stop the organisers, speakers, charity representatives or the public from turning out in force for a hugely successful SOS – Silence of Suicide initiative. In fact, over 90 people braved the elements for a cause they support so passionately.
Sarah Maxwell, who facilitated SOS2, had done a fantastic job securing a perfect venue and everything ran as clockwork, including “Sarah’s Kitchen” , which dispensed tea, coffee and bottled water, together with breads and pastries donated by Le Parisienne, a local bakers.
Prior to discussions getting underway, Co-founders of SOS – Silence Of Suicide Michael Mansfield QC and Yvette Greenway were proud to announce their partnership with leading health and wellbeing charity The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, which was formalised that same day.
Sheila McMahon, a mental health professional who stages her own shows, introduced herself to the audience in her own inimitable style and was there to support anyone in distress.
Apart from the phenomenal public support, SOS2 was attended by volunteers from the Samaritans and other charities, making it a well rounded and informative evening during which the discussions were wide ranging, with contributions from those bereaved by suicide and those who had attempted suicide. People who merely had an interest in the subject also attended.
All in all, SOS that evening represented a huge array of areas within the mental health arena, and delivered discourse on a much broader spectrum of topics than they thought they would have time for.
It was heartening and encouraging to see the interaction between attendees, both during the initiative and afterwards, where people were exchanging stories and phone numbers.
At the end of the evening, Michael and Yvette presented Sarah Maxwell with a bottle of bubbly for all her efforts and although she was reticent to talk in front of everyone, they thought her ‘acceptance of alcohol’ speech (!) was wonderfully executed.
SOS wish to extend their thanks to the following contributors who made the evening possible:
• Tewkesbury Abbey
• The University of Gloucestershire
• Sarah Maxwell
• Sheila McMahon
• The Kaleidoscope Plus Group
• Jonathan Trace
• Le Parisienne Pastries
• Binary Website Design