Hebburn Helps co-founder set to hold second Walk of Hope in South Shields

The co-founder of charity Hebburn Helps is hoping to see members of the community rally around to take part in the second Walk of Hope.

By Sophie Brownson
Sunday, 11 August, 2019, 06:00
Those taking part in the Walk of Hope. From left Amy Gibson, Lyla Gibson, ten, Anna Shields, organiser Angie Comerford, Sarah Weavers and Callum Comerford, six.

Angie Comerford has organised the event for a second year running in a bid to raise awareness of mental health and pay tribute to loved ones lost through suicide.

Angie, from Walsh Avenue, Hebburn, tragically lost her dad Brian Hannigan at the age of just 60.

Annual Walk of Hope in memory of loved ones. From left Amy Gibson, Anna Shields, Lyla Gibson, ten, organiser Angie Comerford, Callum Comerford, six, and Sarah Weavers.

The 42-year-old held the first Walk of Hope in 2018 to pay tribute to her dad and break down the stigma around mental health. The 11 mile walk will once again set off from the Marsden Grotto in South Shields on Saturday, September 21, at 5pm and finish at the Angel of the North in Gateshead.

Those taking part will then light candles and spell out the word ‘hope’ in fairy lights before they take time to remember loved ones.

Angie, 42, said: “I have had mental health problems for more than 20 years and know what its like to go through.

“One thing that I would like to leave behind is for people to do this walk for years and years to come.

Angie Comerford tragically lost her dad Brian Hanningan to suicide.

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“That would be something that I would be most proud about.

“Last year 16 of us turned up to take part in the walk and it was lovely.

“This year we want to see people come along again to just walk and talk together.

”Those walking might have suffered with their own mental health or be walking in memory of someone.

“The aim is to raise awareness of mental health as there is still a massive stigma around it.

“It is to get the message out to people that they are not alone and to never lose hope.”

The walk, which is separate from the Hebburn Helps charity, is expected to take around three and a half hours.

Anyone wanting to take part can turn up on the day or get in touch in advance via the Walk of Hope Facebook page.