STEPPING OUT: Charles Hall, who joined the 3 Dads Walking for a ten-mile stretch of their latest walk, in memory of his daughter Sophie.
STEPPING OUT: Charles Hall, who joined the 3 Dads Walking for a ten-mile stretch of their latest walk, in memory of his daughter Sophie.

The 3 Dads Walking have raised more than £1m since the tragic deaths of their daughters brought them together. Their latest effort – the Walk of Hope – saw them head through the area. Martin Paul reportsSUPPORTERS turned out in their droves when a suicide prevention walk passed through Teesdale. The 3 Dads Walking’s Walk of Hope sees Tim Owen, Mike Palmer and Andy Airey marching from Stirling, in Scotland, to Norwich Town Hall in memory of their daughters who took their own lives.

Among those who joined them when they travelled through Piercebridge and on to Richmond the following day included Tracey and David Beadle, of the Quinn’s Retreat charity, and Lindsey and Charles Hall, of Rokeby Inn.

Like the 3 Dads Walking, both couples have lost children to suicide.

Quinn’s Retreat was formed by the Beadle family after they lost their daughter Quinn and son Dyllon to suicide, and offers getaways for grieving families. It has holiday facilities at Riverside Leisure Park, near Barnard Castle, and another at Appleby, in Cumbria.

The couple arranged for 3 Dads Walking to stay overnight at The George, in Piercebridge, and also hosted them for dinner.

Mrs Beadle said: “One of our directors, Suzanne Howes, walked with the three dads from Longhorsely to Gosforth and then from Gosforth into County Durham.

“A huge thanks to The George who gave the dads complimentary rooms for the evening.”

Quinn’s Retreat also raised almost £500 for 3 Dads Walking.

The men received a rousing reception when they entered Piercebridge where a large crowd, many with their dogs, had gathered in welcome.

Resident Liz Hodgson organised a refreshment stall of tea and cakes in the village which helped raise an additional £200 in donations.

She said: “There was a good turnout of support to cheer them into the village and dogs came too. Lord Barnard sent his best wishes and support as well.”

Charles Hall, who lost his 19-year-old daughter Sophie last year, joined the walk the following morning from Aldbrough St John for about ten miles.

He carried a photograph of Sophie for the entire stretch.

Mr Hall said: “I wanted to walk with them because they are so inspirational and their dedication to the cause.

“In memory of my daughter, I wanted to walk with them and talk about Sophie, and their children, and other parents who lost their children.

“It was a lovely day and it was great for my mental health. There were about ten or 12 of us [walking with the dads] and people were joining in and leaving at different villages.

“The number of people coming out or pipping their horns was amazing.”

Mr Hall raised more than £750 for the 3 Dads through his walk.

Since their first effort in 2021, the 3 Dads Walking have raised more than £1m for the PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide charity.

The cash has helped extend the charity’s helpline to be a 24-hour service, seven days a week, and grown its office network from five across the country to 18.

PAPYRUS also campaigns for mental health awareness and suicide prevention to be made part of the school curriculum.