Three bereaved dads trek into Hull on latest walk for suicide prevention charity

From left, Andrew Airey, Tim Owen and Mike Palmer make up The 3 Dads Walking - who will be ending their 500 mile walk in Hull
From left, Andrew Airey, Tim Owen and Mike Palmer make up The 3 Dads Walking - who will be ending their 500 mile walk in Hull -Credit:Submitted

Three bereaved fathers who are turning their daughters' suicides into something positive are set to bring their latest challenge to Hull's Humber Street.

The 3 Dads Walking team has already raised over one million pounds for the PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide charity, becoming national heroes in the process.

Andy Airey, Mike Palmer and Tim Owen, who make up the 3 Dads Walking team, completed their first challenge in 2021 when they hiked 300 miles. Their next trek was double that at 600 miles when they walked between the parliaments of Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. In mid-April, they set out on their latest 500-mile walk from Scotland through eastern counties, where they have been visiting new PAPYRUS offices and hubs - they will end the challenge in Norwich on May 11.

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Andy, from Cumbria, lost his 29-year-old daughter Sophie to suicide in 2018. He talked about the importance of these walks, saying: “This walk is about refocusing our fundraising efforts to help PAPYRUS achieve its goals and extend the lifesaving work the charity does.

“Along the way we will talk to loads of people, some of whom will be new to the charity, we will raise funds to help PAPYRUS open more offices, train more people and ultimately stop preventable suicides. Together we can save lives.”

In 2022, the trio attracted more than 100,000 signatures on an online petition to have suicide prevention included on the school curriculum. Due to the number of signatures, the House of Commons had to hold a debate on it. Shortly afterwards, the dads received a Pride Of Britain Award.

Mike Palmer, of Greater Manchester, lost his 17-year-old daughter Beth to suicide in 2020. He says the 3 Dads Walking have unfinished business: “Our third walk is borne from the belief that more precious young lives can be saved. Progress is being made but the fact is we hear of more tragic stories nearly every week and there is so much work still to do.

“Walking and talking is what we do. Smashing the stigma around mental health and suicide is our goal. With every step we remember our girls and this gives us the courage to make a difference.”

On their latest walk, The 3 Dads Walking have raised over £78k
On their latest walk, The 3 Dads Walking have raised over £78k -Credit:Submitted

During the previous two challenges, the 3 Dads were overwhelmed by the attitudes, kindness and generosity of the public. Meanwhile, Hollywood A-listers Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman each donated £10,000, as did Scottish football icon Lou Macari, who lost his son to suicide.

Tim Owen, who lost his 19-year-old daughter Emily to suicide in 2020, said: “Like many, I was shocked to find out that suicide is the biggest killer of under 35s in the UK, and often wondered if our stories would have been different if we or our girls had known about PAPYRUS and the charity’s HOPELINE247 service.

“Our walk will highlight the lifesaving work PAPYRUS deliver through a growing number of hubs embedded in communities across the UK. The more money we raise as we walk, the more the charity will expand across the nation and the more lives will be saved.”

Their current challenge will today (Thursday, May 2) see them reach Stage@TheDock, Humber Street, Hull. They will arrive at around 5pm - having raised over £78,000 at the time of writing.

Ged Flynn, chief executive of PAPYRUS, said: “The 3 Dads Walking have already captured the nation’s hearts, after all, what could be more important than the wellbeing of our children and saving young lives?

“Andy, Mike and Tim are ordinary dads who will be continuing their extraordinary mission to raise awareness and spread hope, helping to start vital conversations about suicide that too many families feel unable or unwilling to have.

“In their efforts to raise much-needed funds for our charity, the dads have already enabled us to grow and 2024 will see PAPYRUS further extend its work into the heart of many communities across the UK.”

For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice please contact PAPYRUS HOPELINE247 at 0800 068 4141, text 88247 or email

For more details about the 3 Dads Walking and their 2024 challenge visit