Suicide crisis centre joins Archway Bridge safety campaign
A CRISIS centre offering sanctuary for suicidal people has joined the campaign for SOS safety measures to be installed at Archway Bridge.
Campaigners have been fighting for a phone and safety nets at the infamous suicide spot since three men fell to their deaths at the end of last year.
They have welcomed support from The Maytree Centre in Moray Road, Finsbury Park, which opened in 2002 to provide a sanctuary for people on the brink of suicide and provides support, counselling and care for up to five days in a comfortable home.
Paddy Bazeley, co-founder of the Maytree, said: “We have space for four suicidal people at any one time. Right now we have two empty beds and we’re just down the road from Hornsey Lane Bridge. We need people to know we are here.”
Local campaigners Sarah Cope and Sue Hessel have led the bridge safety campaign and they visited the charity last week to learn more about its work helping thousands of people, including a woman who attempted to end her life jumping from a bridge.
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The woman, who did not want to be named, said: “I came across Maytree in 2008 and after an assessment stayed for four nights. I have never experienced such a hopeful, loving and compassionate place.
“The staff - paid therapists and a wonderful, diverse and excellently trained set of dedicated volunteers - listened to what I had to say, helped me to explore my distress and gave me a gentle space in which to figure out what I needed to do next in order to pull myself back towards life.
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“I shall never again underestimate the profound effect that kindness, empathy, and straight forward human connection can have on the soul at the most desperate of times.
“Maytree was more than a sanctuary for me, it fed enough life back to me that I left with a renewed appetite for it.”
She has added her support to the campaign along with Ms Bazeley, who believes action to stop suicides at Archway Bridge is long overdue.
Campaigners have continued to demand that bodies responsible for the bridge - including Transport for London, Haringey Council, English Heritage and the Samaritans - meet around a table to discuss safety measures.