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30 Miles for 30 Years – Help us walk from Elgin to Exeter visiting each of our groups along the way.

We are challenging you to walk, run, jog, skip or sprint 1 mile every day, for the 30 days of April. That’s 1 mile for each of the 30 years that Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide have been supporting those impacted by Suicide loss.

Make sure you keep track of those miles with our mileage tracking calendar!

30 day calendar – 30 Miles for 30 Years

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30 years ago, in April 1991, Alice Middleton set up the first ever Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide support group from her living room in Hull. After losing her brother to suicide, Alice struggled to find anyone she could turn to for support, so she placed an advert in her local paper to find others who had been impacted by suicide loss. With that advert, SOBS was born.

Fast forward to 2021, 30 years on, we are now a National Charity with over 180 volunteers, offering peer led support through our group sessions, national helpline, email support and community forum. We currently have support groups throughout the UK, many of which are offering UK wide, virtual support whilst we are unable to meet face to face….and this number is growing! 

Sadly, the need for our services is growing and with that, a need for more groups, more volunteers and more awareness. Join us, as we virtually walk from the Elgin group to the Exeter group, stopping at each of our national support groups along the way, spotlighting the incredible support they are providing. 

With our fundraising heroes behind us, 

we can ensure that, none of us need to suffer alone.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Day 1 ~ Virtual milers
assemble!

Thank you for signing up to our virtual challenge  🎉

Our virtual walk starts at our most northern group in Elgin, Scotland.

Our Elgin SOBS group was set up in May 2018 and pre COVID-19, were holding their meetings at the Elgin City Football Club. This is the only group in the area and members often travelled long distances to attend meetings. We hope to re-establish this group when COVID-19 restrictions allow.

To read more about our Elgin group see here

 

Day 2 ~ Virtual milers
you're amazing!

Congratulations to our daily milers on completing day 1 🎉
 
Over 187 of you have moved a mile and we have walked, ran, jogged, skipped and jumped though Scotland!
 We have given a wave to our upcoming group in Kirkcaldy before arriving in Edinburgh! Lets all say “good morning” to Jacqui and Jackson, group facilitators for our Edinburgh group 👋
 
To read more about our Edinburgh group see here
 
 It isn’t too late to join us on our virtual walk from Elgin to Exeter!

Day 3 ~ Virtual milers
we're impressed!

Our daily milers have smashed day 2 🎉
 
Over 224 of you have moved a mile and we have made our way through Scotland, into England. We hope that you all waved as you zoomed past our groups in Renfrewshire and the Scottish Borders before arriving in Whitley bay.
 
Sadly, our Renfrewshire group is in desperate need of volunteers and has temporarily closed ~ Can you help?
 
For information on any of our support groups, we have a very handy “find a support group” tool here
 
 

Day 4 ~ Virtual milers
you’re incredible!

Our daily milers have sailed through day 3 🎉
 
As we walk, jog, skip, jump and space hop our way from Whitley Bay, through York and onto Hull, it is important to remember we can support ALL of the UK through our National Helpline:
0300 111 5065
 

Angela, volunteers for Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide and really is a shining star. Not only does she support those impacted by suicide on the helpline, but also coordinates the helpline rota, ensuring there is someone there to take your call. Read more about Angela’s journey to SoBS and her role, here.

Day 5 ~ Virtual milers congratulations!

Our daily milers have skipped through day 4 🎉

As we run, walk, skip and jump our way from Hull, through Scunthorpe and onto Doncaster, we wanted to remind you of your huge achievements so far! We are at 70% of our fundraising target raising a whopping £21,293 already!

 It costs in the region of £5500 to set up a new support group, £375 train one volunteer and 50p to print one of our support after a suicide booklets.

Your fundraising efforts so far are inspirational, you are all playing a huge part in supporting those bereaved by suicide.

Day 6 ~ Virtual milers
you're doing great!

Our daily milers have flown through day 5 🎉
 
As we dance, hop, skip and jump our way from Doncaster to Barnsley and finally reach Sheffield, we wanted to tell you some more about our support services. Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide has an email support service as well as an online community forum for those people who prefer to share their experiences and feelings through writing rather than talking. 
 

If you would like to read about the email support team, you can read more here

It isn’t too late to join us on our virtual walk from Elgin to Exeter!

 
 

Day 7 ~ Virtual milers
you’re all fundraising heroes!

Our daily milers have charged through day 6 🎉
 

As we stomp our way from Sheffield to Stockport, we wanted to tell you some more about our volunteer Wyn. She is a group facilitator at our Stockport group and a true fundraising, awareness raising hero!

Read more about Wyn and her fundraising here

It isn’t too late to join us on our virtual walk from Elgin to Exeter!

Day 8 ~ Virtual milers
what a team!

Our daily milers have strolled through day 7 🎉
 

We have jogged, jumped and hula hooped our way from Stockport, through Manchester and have now reached Bolton!!

Meet Janet and Noel, group facilitators for our Bolton group.

Janet and Noel do fantastic work in the community, raising both awareness and funds for our charity.

 Let’s all give them both a wave 👋👋

Read more about Janet, Noel and the Bolton group here

Day 9 ~ Virtual milers
you’re marvellous!

Our daily milers have stomped through day 8 🎉
 
We have skipped, jumped and hopped our way from Bolton to our
St Helens Group.
 
Meet Derek ~ He does amazing work on both our National Helpline and as a group facilitator for our St Helens Group.
 
Let’s all give him a wave 👋👋
 
Read more about our St Helens Group here
 
Read more about Dereks volunteering role here
 

Day 10 ~ Virtual milers
you’re all awe-inspiring awareness raisers!

Our daily milers have bounced through day 9 🎉
 
We have danced, jumped and hula hooped our way from St Helens to Liverpool.
 
Meet our Helpline volunteer John. John was born in Liverpool in 1950 and has given us a great incite into what it was like growing up in Liverpool and how the loss of his Niece brought him to volunteer on our National Helpline. Read more here
 
If you have been impacted by a loss to suicide and want to speak to one of our trained volunteers, like John, call:
 

National Helpline: 0300 111 5065

Day 11 ~ Virtual milers
you’re all #SoBSFamily!

Our daily milers have marched through day 10 🎉

We are in Wales! We have marched, skipped and ran our way from Liverpool to Anglesey.

We are proud to announce that we have a new group opening in Anglesey, Wales. When COVID-19 struck in early 2020 all training had to stop. We quickly realised that our incredible volunteers were still keen to take up volunteering roles and wanted to support those bereaved by suicide more than ever! We have now adapted our training and are offering online training to all new volunteers, which means we can continue to grow our support services.

Are you interested in volunteering?
 

Day 12 ~ Virtual milers
you’re all spectacular!

Our daily milers have waltzed through day 11 🎉
 

We have hopped, skipped and fancy dressed our way from Anglesey to Chester. Regardless of your geographical location, our virtual groups are open to all of the UK.

Did you know that we have a Men’s virtual support group “bereaveMENt” which runs on the second Tuesday of the Month? The next meeting is tomorrow:

Tuesday 13th April 2021

All men who have been impacted by suicide are welcome to join this confidential and inclusive group. More information here

Day 13 ~ Virtual milers
nearly half way there!

Our daily milers have jogged through day 12 🎉
 
We have danced, walked and ran our way from Chester to Crewe.
 
Meet Ed, group facilitator for our Crewe group.
 
Let’s all give him a wave 👋👋
 
Read more about Ed and how he became a volunteer for Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide, a role that he has held for over 10 years.
 
We are incredibly proud of the support he provides to those bereaved by suicide 💜
 

Day 14 ~ Virtual milers
you did it!

Our daily milers have trail blazed through day 13 🎉
 
We have fundraised and amazed our way from
Crewe to Uttoxeter.
 
We are so proud of each of our milers……. We have hit our target of £30,000 on DAY 14!! 
 
Congratulations on your huge achievements so far,
but it doesn’t end here! We still have 16 days to walk our mile, share our successes and raise awareness and funds
 
Read more about our amazing volunteers Joy and Phil, who facilitate our Uttoxeter group here

Day 15 ~ Virtual milers
you're half way!

Our daily milers have leaped through day 14 🎉
 
We have skipped though Uttoxeter and have now reached Nottingham.
 
Meet the Team – One of our newest support groups should have launched in Nottingham City April 2020. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, this was unable to happen. Lisa and the team were able to embrace technology and launch the group in a virtual way, offering online support groups.
 
Lets all give Lisa, Josie & Karen a wave 👋👋👋
 
More information on joining the Nottingham group here

Day 16 ~ Virtual milers

remember why you are doing this!

 
Our daily milers have pranced through day 15 🎉
 
We have jogged, leaped and jumped from Nottingham to Ilkeston.
 
30 years ago, on the 16th April 1991, Alice Middleton held the first ever SoBS Support group in Hull. Today We arrive in Ilkeston, home of the SoBS National office & the Ilkeston support group to commemorate 30 years of supporting those impacted by suicide loss. 
 
The Ilkeston group has been running since 2006 and is facilitated by Eric, Graham & Pauline.
 
Read more about the Ilkeston group and the amazing volunteers who facilitate it here

Day 17 ~ Virtual milers
you’re all inspirational!

Our daily milers have soared through day 16 🎉
 
We have bounced, raced and ate cake from Ilkeston to Coventry.
 
Our volunteers at Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide are truly the heartbeat of the Charity. They provide support to those impacted by suicide in many ways, but who supports them?
 
We have a small team of employees who support our volunteers and manage operations. We are mostly based in our National Office in Ilkeston Derbyshire, but also work from other locations around the UK (after all, our volunteers are nationwide!)
 
 
It isn’t too late to make a donation!  💜
 

Day 18 ~ Virtual milers
you’re all remarkable !

 Our daily milers have galloped through day 17 🎉
 
We have hopped, skipped and jumped from Coventry to Birmingham.
 
We have arrived in Birmingham where Binnie, Bali and Gurj facilitate our Birmingham SoBS group. They are currently offering regular virtual meetings.
 
Binnie and Gurj also run a virtual meeting which provides a safe space for the Punjabi speaking woman’s community. They offer a confidential and non-judgmental service for Punjabi speaking women impacted by suicide loss.
 
If you wish to attend either group contact ~ 07376303438
Email: birmingham@uksobs.org
 
 

Day 19 ~ Virtual milers
you're all extraordinary!

Our daily milers have excelled through day 18 🎉
 
We have fancy dressed, awareness raised and embraced our inner unicorns from Birmingham to Bromsgrove!
 
Our Bromsgrove Group was started by sisters Karen and Sarah in July 2007. The group has grown over the years and volunteers have stepped in to help over the years so massive thanks to Carol, Janine, Jacqui and our current group leaders Rachel and Tracey. Karen is still involved and is a positive and important part of the Bromsgrove Group. They are currently offering regular virtual meetings, read more about the Bromsgrove group here
 

Karen has been a keen participant in our 30 mile challenge and has raised an amazing £1,743 so far! Donate to her page and help Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide support those impacted by suicide here

 

Day 20 ~ Virtual milers
you are astonishing!

Our daily milers have conquered day 19 🎉
 
We have ran, jumped and danced from Bromsgrove to Leamington!
 
Meet Dave & Jacqui – Group Facilitators at our Leamington group.
Let us all give them a wave! 👋👋
 
The Leamington Group are no strangers to fundraising. In 2016 they raised enough to buy a tree and bench in Victoria Park (Leamington Spa). Many of their group regularly visit the park and enjoy the sanctuary it provides. Read more about this and the significance of the pompoms here
 
Jacqui has been a keen participant in our challenge and has been hula hooping for 30 minutes every, raising an amazing £365 so far! Donate to her page and help support those bereaved by suicide

Day 21 ~ Virtual milers
you are all striding for survivors!

Our daily milers have dominated day 20 🎉
 
We have hula hooped from Leamington to Wellingborough, walked from Wellingborough to Milton Keynes, and then hopscotched all the way to Aylesbury!
 
Let us all say hello as we pass by our support groups and give them a big wave! 👋👋👋
 
We have arrived in Aylesbury where Geoff and the team are waiting to give all those over the age of 18, impacted by a suicide loss, a warm and supportive welcome.
 

Read more about Geoff’s longstanding involvement with

SOBS and how he became a volunteer here

Day 22 ~ Virtual milers
you're all wonderful

Our daily milers have bossed day 21 🎉

We have jogged, leaped and jumped from Aylesbury to our Welwyn & Hatfield Group.

The Welwyn & Hatfield (formally the Hatfield group) was established in Nov 2015 and has been running for just over 5 years. It is facilitated by Sheila Stapleton, Sian Fensom, Kim Scully, Chris Pringis and Maddie Phillips.

Let’s give them all a wave 👋👋👋👋👋

Read more about the Welwyn & Hatfield group here

Read more about Sheila’s role as a volunteer here

Read more about Sheila’s role as Volunteer Coordinator here

Day 23 ~ Virtual milers
you are all lovely!

Our daily milers have sprung through day 22 🎉
 
#TeamSoBS are on whistle stop tour of LONDON!
 
We have ran from Welwyn & Hatfield to Watford, walked from Watford to Haringey, hopped from Haringey to London, lunged from London to Lewisham and danced from Lewisham all the way to Maidstone in Kent!
 
Sheila volunteers for SoBS as a Group Facilitator at our Maidstone Group. She also volunteers on our National Helpline as well as organising annual retreats for those bereaved by suicide. 💜
 
Read more about her roles within our charity and how the support she gives others, ensures the memory of her Son Danny lives on, here

Day 24 ~ Virtual milers
how are you feeling?

Our daily milers have breezed through day 23 🎉
 
Meet Derek – Group Facilitator at our Eastbourne Group.
Let us all give him a wave! 👋
 
Derek volunteers for Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide – SOBS as a Group Facilitator for our Eastbourne Group. This group offers 2 virtual meetings per month, details here.
 
These meetings are open to all in the UK impacted by suicide loss and are not exclusively for the Eastbourne area.
 
He also volunteers on our National Helpline, Email support and our male only, virtual support group bereaveMENt.
 
He really does give so much support to so many 💜

Day 25 ~ Virtual milers
you are all phenomenal!

Our daily milers have floored day 24 🎉
 
Sack the navigator, our map reading skills have gone awry!
We have backtracked from Eastbourne to Canterbury, cycled from Canterbury to Margate and quick marched from Margate to Brighton! Thankfully our marvellous milers are clocking up miles to spare!
 
Meet Josie – Group Facilitator at our Brighton Group. 💜
 
“I love being a SOBS volunteer. I joined the Brighton and Hove support group in 2018 after I lost my fiancée, Olivier, just a few short months before our wedding. SOBS offers something that a lot of counselling can’t provide. People who understand what you are going through because they have been in your shoes.”
 
Contact the Brighton group here

Day 26 ~ Virtual milers
you are all exceptional!

Our daily milers have Jived through day 25 🎉
 
We have bounced from Brighton to South Downs, sprinted from South Downs to Horsham, hopped from Horsham to Reigate, raced from Reigate to Guildford and galloped from Guildford all the way to Henley-on-Thames! Phew, we are clocking up those miles!
 
The Henley-on-Thames Group has been running since 2009 and was started by Suzanne Mattingly. Jill Hall began facilitating this group in 2013 and Suzanne continued providing support by volunteering on our National Helpline, which she still does to this day. 💜
 
This self-help Group provides much needed support and relief for anyone who has been impacted by suicide loss. 💜

Day 27 ~ Virtual milers
you are all brilliant!

Our daily milers have stormed through day 26 🎉

We have waved goodbye to Henley-on-Thames and have walked, waltzed and whizzed all the way to Wokingham!

Our Wokingham group has been running since March 2014, so for 7 years now. It was the first group in Berkshire to open and has members from all over Berkshire and some from Surrey.

Hazel facilitates the group supported by Lynne and Roger. They have a new volunteer Adrian, who has joined them this year and would welcome further support from any new volunteers who may want to join their team.

Contact the Wokingham Group here.

Day 28 ~ Virtual milers
we are a team!

 Our daily milers have come through day 27 together 💜💜
 
We have waved goodbye to Wokingham and walked to Winchester!
 
Let’s all give Ellie, Susannah & Beeb a wave 👋👋👋
 
“We all feel really passionately about peer support as we know how speaking to others who are also living through the experience of losing someone to suicide, is so very valuable. We also want to give people hope that it is possible to survive such a devastating, life changing event.”
 
Read more about the Winchester Group here
Read more about group facilitator & trustee here
 
 We will be cheering on “Team Winchester” when they take on their final walk on Saturday 1st May 2021. To mark 30 years of SoBS, our Winchester peer support group facilitators, are walking 30 miles to Winchester on Saturday 1st May 2021 🚶
Donate here

Day 29 ~ Virtual milers
we are nearly there!

Our daily milers have sashayed through day 28 🎉
 
We have waved goodbye to Winchester and pranced to Portsmouth, jogged from Portsmouth to Bournemouth (where group member Hannah wanted to share a message) and bounced from Bournemouth to Bath!
 
Our Bath group started in September 2017 under the guidance of Cruse, and became a SOBS group in December 2019. The group is run by volunteers Gillian, Cecile and Ann, and during Lockdown they have been doing monthly meetings on Zoom – they have welcomed people to these sessions from much further afield than the Bath area.
 
Find out more about the Bath group here

Day 30 ~ Virtual milers
WE DID IT!

Our daily milers have zoomed through day 29 🎉
 
We have waved goodbye to Bath and cartwheeled to Cardiff! Then #TeamSoBS raced all the way to the finish line in Exeter the last of our 52 groups that we have visited virtually. We truly hope that you have enjoyed meeting our wonderful volunteers and sharing their experiences.
 
So, the time has come to complete our final mileage questionnaire so we can total up your incredible achievements and see how far our milers have really come!
 
Fill out our mileage form here 
 
We are so proud of each and every one of you. Whether you have covered 1 or 100 miles, you have been a part of something special. We have created a community of milers with the true ethos of SoBS at its core, showing support, kindness and empathy and forging friendships across the miles.
Thank you milers, you are all simply the best 💜💜💜