I have received a large number of messages about the podcast this week, asking why I chose to cover the life and death of Louis Gillies. I was unfamiliar with Louis’s story until I read this excellent article in The Scotsman.
My personal interest in the issues around suicide come from when I was a volunteer for The Samaritans a number of years ago. They are an excellent organisation and one of the charities I always support. I am also fascinated by Beachy Head and having spent a lot of time there, I struggle that a place of such incredible beauty to me is visited by desperate people purely to end their lives. The stories of those who have chosen to die at Beachy Head are just utterly heartbreaking.
One organisation trying to help those who are suicidal at Beachy Head is the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team, a search and rescue charity. They patrol the area on foot and by car and respond to emergency calls locating anyone at risk, saving those planning to take their own lives. Using their skills in crisis intervention they offer supportive listening to encourage more hopeful solutions than suicide. They also work alongside local services helping people to access support. You can support their valuable work here.