Lou received this letter from the incredible ‘3 Dads Walking’, who recently completed a 300-mile fundraising walk, to raise awareness and funds for young suicide prevention. Lou donated £10,001 to their cause after meeting the threesome at Old Trafford.
Here is their letter to Lou and the Macari Centre…
Thank you so much for your generous contribution to 3 Dads Walking. The £10,001 donation from the Macari Foundation was massive and having you stand side by side with Tim, Andy and myself meant so much. We could see that you understand our pain in losing Emily, Sophie and Beth and that Jonathan is very much still with you.
The story of Lou Macari trumping James Bond by £1 brought many smiles along the way, as did Andy `the Blue’ having to go into Old Trafford. I don’t think we have converted him, but he loves telling the story.
Sadly, you were not the only grieving parent we met along the way. We were overwhelmed by the heartbreaking stories. Some were so recent and others decades ago. Yet all so fresh and raw. Listening gave us total belief in what 3 Dads Walking was about. The stigma surrounding suicide is costing precious lives and leaving the bereaved isolated and alone.
The 3 Dads, along with Papyrus (Prevention of young suicide), believe so many young lives can be saved. People are reaching out to us, touched by the waves of suicide on so many levels. We are just three uncool old dads armed with nothing but the terrible grief of losing a child to this unseen epidemic, however our openness seems to have enabled people to reach out.
The walk has finished but our work certainly has not. Our fundraising has topped £840,000 which is slightly more than our original target of £9,000. This will undoubtedly help Papyrus save lives.
We are also awaiting details for a ministerial meeting early next year to push for more MH and suicide coverage to be on the national school curriculum in the belief this knowledge will form such important life skills.
Christmas is approaching and I know the Macari Foundation and Centre will be working flat out. The work you do is invaluable and gives people that all important `hope’ and with it another chance at life. Tim, Andy and I applaud you and your staff.
If we can be of help in any way, whether it be volunteering, talking, listening, doing a presentation, or bringing awareness of Papyrus, please let us know. We would be delighted. As you will know, suicide and homelessness can so often be found on the same path.
It would be great to continue our conversation with you again one day. We all felt as though there was still so much to say.
After watching your greatest goals back on YouTube, I feel as though I should be putting that old poster from Shoot back on my wall and booting a ball around Walton Park in Sale. If only my knees would let me! You were a hero then, and you are a hero now.
All the very best to you and the family for Christmas.
Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK. PAPYRUS aims to reduce the number of young people who take their own lives by breaking down the stigma around suicide and equipping people with the skills to recognise and respond to suicidal behaviour.
HOPELINEUK is the charity’s confidential helpline service providing practical advice and support to young people with thoughts of suicide and anyone concerned about a young person who may have thoughts of suicide.
HOPELINEUK is staffed by trained professionals, offering a telephone, text and email service.
For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice please contact PAPYRUS HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039967 or email email@example.com