A suicide prevention charity has opened a new support centre in Chester.
The Martin Gallier Project (MGP) – which has a base in Wirral – is now offering help on St Werburgh Street, opposite the city’s cathedral.
The charity will assist people over the age of 16 who are in a suicidal crisis or who have suffered in the past. Family members who are worried a loved may be in a suicidal crisis can also get support, as can those left bereaved by suicide.
There is no criteria or waiting list for help. Instead, the centre offers a drop-in service within a non-clinical, safe environment that provides immediate aid to anyone who needs it.
Jessica Gallier, chief executive of the charity, said: “We are overwhelmed by the level of support we have received from the local community.
“We are so proud of the work we have done for families on Wirral and beyond. And we are eager to establish a warm and welcoming space here in the city.”
The service relies on funding from the National Lottery and other donations, but has already gained support from Chester businesses including Hickory’s Smokehouse and We Love Good Times which will help the charity to progress the new Chester facility.
Artezzan and Cheshire Freemasons are also corporate supporters, while the Steve Morgan Foundation and Garfield Weston provide grants.
Jessica set up the charity after the loss of her father, Martin Gallier, in 2017. She established it to tackle areas she found to be lacking during his journey with mental illness and suicide.
The MGP works closely with local schools and organisations to promote its campaigns.
Services they provide will include delivering age-appropriate talks to school children, running support groups, hosting annual conferences and organising training workshops and courses to help as many people as possible about suicide.
Visits have already been made to secondary schools including Wirral Grammar School for Boys and Calday Grammar, which gave very positive feedback and described the talks as ‘accessible’, ‘engaging’ and ‘pupil focused’.
The North West has the fourth highest regional suicide rate in England – there are 12.9 suicide deaths per 100,000 people. MGP aims to change this with their values to prevent suicide, break down stigmas surrounding it and support families.
Thanks to Emily Owens, who wrote this article on work experience