In collaboration with mental health charity ‘Start Inspiring Minds’, the city of Salford will mark World Suicide Prevention Day with a powerful Vigil & Procession of Remembrance on Sunday 10 September at Salford Museum & Art Gallery. The vigil is set to shine a light on the pressing issue of suicide, its impact on the Salford community, and the indelible mark it leaves on the bereaved.
Leading the performances at this event will be the eminent singer-songwriter Vinny Peculiar, also known as Alan Wilkes. With a musical career spanning over two decades, Peculiar has collaborated with iconic band members from The Smiths and Oasis and boasts thirteen albums, showcasing his profound lyrical artistry. Beyond his achievements, Peculiar’s personal connection to the cause is deep-seated, having lost a brother to suicide. In a heartfelt statement, he said, “One of the songs I’ll be playing at the vigil I wrote for him way back in 1988… It’s called ‘Big Grey Hospital’.”
The procession, beginning from the Starts Wellbeing Centre, promises to be a poignant affair with 130 yellow flags unfurled along its route. Each flag symbolises a life lost to suicide in Salford over the previous five years, painting a somber picture of the gravity of the issue in the community.
Upon reaching Salford Museum & Art Gallery, the vigil will feature various speakers including Salford Ceremonial Mayor, Gina Reynolds, Salford Council Chief Executive, Tom Stannard, Living Experience advocate Melanie Anderton, and poet Jardel Rodrequies, among others. Salford CVS CEO, Alison Page, will orchestrate the evening as the host.
Dennis Baldwin, Project Manager of ‘Reach Out; Start to End Suicide’, emphasized the importance of the vigil, stating, “It not only honours those we have lost but also demonstrates our unwavering support for those who have lost loved ones to suicide.”
Those wishing to add a loved one’s name to the roll of remembrance, or those keen on carrying a flag during the procession, are encouraged to reach out to Dennis Baldwin.
The proceedings are scheduled as follows: gathering at 6:00 PM at the START Wellbeing Centre (M6 5BZ), followed by the Procession of Remembrance at 6:30 PM, culminating in the Vigil of Remembrance at 7:15 PM at the Salford Museum & Art Gallery (M5 4WU).
Start Inspiring Minds, offering therapeutic support to those battling mental health issues since 1993, invites all to join hands in remembrance, fostering a sense of unity and promoting mental well-being.
For ongoing updates on ‘Reach Out; Start to End Suicide’, visit www.startinspiringminds.org.uk/reachout. Anyone grappling with suicidal thoughts, worried about someone potentially at risk, or struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one to suicide is urged to visit ‘Shining A Light On Suicide’ at http://www.shiningalightonsuicide.org.uk/.