Actor Daniel Craig donated £10,000 to three fathers on a charity walk in memory of their three young daughters who each took their own lives.
The group, called 3 Dads Walking, set off on a 300-mile trek on Saturday to raise awareness of the suicide prevention charity Papyrus in the hope of sparing other families the agony of losing a child.
Andy Airey, from Cumbria, Mike Palmer, from Greater Manchester, and Tim Owen, from Norfolk, say the donation from Daniel Craig was a welcome surprise.
Mr Airey, whose daughter Sophie took her own life in 2018, said: “As dads we have three different stories to tell, but each has the same tragic ending, the devastating loss of a daughter to suicide.
“Daniel Craig has clearly been moved by the indescribable pain we and our families are suffering and wants to help us to bring something positive out of the utter devastation of losing a child to suicide.
“We’d like to say a big thank you to Daniel and every single person who has supported us so far.”
Fundraisers did not initially realise the actor had donated the money. But, because it was a large sum, the charity team traced it and were told by Daniel Craig’s management that it was from him.
Peter Holland, from Papyrus, said: “It’s been done very discreetly, it was us that traced it back to Daniel Craig rather than his management coming to us to say this is what he’s done, which makes it all the more fantastic.
“He wasn’t looking for any thanks, he just wanted to make the donation to make the difference.”
From Cumbria the three fathers will head south, walking through South Lakeland and Lancashire to Mike Palmer’s home in Greater Manchester.
Mr Palmer, who lost his 17-year-old daughter Beth to suicide in March 2020, said: “3 Dads Walking is not a club I want to belong to, but along with Andy and Tim it gives us, as fathers, an opportunity to fight back and maybe make a difference.
“We hope that by linking our three homes and telling our three daughters’ very different stories we will put a spotlight on young mental health and ultimately the brutal effects of suicide.”
After leaving Greater Manchester the 3 Dads Walking will head south east through Cheshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire before arriving at Mr Owen’s family home in King’s Lynn.
Mr Owen, whose 19-year-old daughter Emily was lost to suicide in March 2020, said: “I strongly believe that in a moment of darkness my daughter made a wrong decision. Two minutes earlier or later it would have been different.
“Had she just taken time to think or to speak to someone, her decision and my family’s lives would be on another path. Instead she decided she could no longer go on, leaving behind a devastating ripple effect on her family and friends.”
Averaging 20 miles a day, 3 Dads Walking aim to complete their challenge in 15 days, finishing on Saturday, October 23.