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The UK’s biggest suicide prevention initiative


Belfast Route – 30 june 2023

The Belfast route covers the South, East, West, and North of the city, bringing all communities together. Starting outside the Lanyon Building at Queen’s University Belfast, The Baton will pass some of the city’s most iconic locations including Belfast City Hall, Titanic Belfast, the Parliament Buildings, and Crumlin Road Gaol.  It will stop at established suicide awareness charities to promote their amazing services and dedication, and end at the Spire of Hope in St Anne’s Cathedral for a moment of reflection.


The Baton route and event locations are all subject to local authority approval, and change.

© mapbox & OSMap

As in other cities, The Baton’s day will likely start with a media moment just before 08:00.
start  Queen’s university belfast

A student and staff member will start The Baton’s journey in Belfast to highlight the importance of good mental health in the Education Sector. The public are invited to watch the event from the lawn in front of the Lanyon Building.

The National Centre for Suicide Prevention Education & Training will deliver a suicide prevention and first aid training session to QUB staff later in the morning. Training will also be provided to Ulster University staff in the afternoon.

Public support will be welcome.

08:30 – 09:00
1  weaver’s cross – belfast grand central station

Mike McCarthy, co-Founder of the Baton of Hope, will speak at a private event hosted by Translink. The event will focus on mental health issues in the construction industry and transportation services. The Baton will set off from Weaver’s Cross shortly after 09:00 and will travel through the city centre, past City Hall, through Victoria Square, across the Lagan Weir pedestrian bridge and into the Titanic Quarter, before heading to East Belfast.

10:00 – 10:30
2  community event at Strand arts centre

The Belfast teams from Survivors of Suicide (SOS) Support Group and PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide will host a public and community event at the Strand Arts Centre. Alongside other Charity-hosted events during the day, they will aim to share the key Baton of Hope message that Mums, Dads, Brothers, Sisters, Aunts, Uncles, Friends and Colleagues all have a critical contribution to make in suicide prevention. The Baton will be part of the first 15 minutes of the event for photo opportunities with the Charity teams and visitors.

 Public support and participation will be welcome.

11:30 – 12:30
3  parliament buildings, stormont estate

Northern Ireland Mental Health Champion, Professor Siobhan O’Neill, and Mike McCarthy, co-Founder of the Baton of Hope, will make presentations to MLAs, political representatives and invited guests on mental wellbeing and suicide awareness. They will set out the urgency of the crisis in Northern Ireland, and spell out the need for action and change. This is a private event.

At 12:15, The Baton will be carried down Prince of Wales Avenue (‘The Mile’) by all of the willing MLAs. We hope that this display of cross-party support will demonstrate a shared commitment to suicide prevention across the political spectrum in Northern Ireland. At Upper Newtownards Road, The Baton group will be picked up by Glider, courtesy of Translink, and will travel across Belfast to the Falls Road.

13:00 – 13:30
4  community event at west Belfast                                suicide awareness & support group

West Belfast Suicide Awareness & Support Group will host a public and community event at their offices on the Falls Road.      At 13:30, The Baton will depart from outside Cultúrlann McAdam    Ó Fiaich, and be carried through to the Shankill Road, Crumlin Road and on to Antrim Road.

 Public support and participation will be welcome.

14:30 – 15:00
5  community event outside pips

PIPS will host a public and community event outside their offices on the Antrim Road. Before heading back to the city centre, The Baton will also briefly visit the offices of the Lighthouse Charity and Hope 4 Life NI on Duncairn Gardens.

 Public support and participation will be welcome.

15:00 – 17:30
finish  Public & community event at writer’s Sq.

Starting at approximately 15:00, we will host an informal, family-oriented community gathering in the Square opposite St Anne’s Cathedral. The Baton will arrive at close to 15:30, and will visit St Anne’s for a moment of reflection. Following this quiet moment, it will spend the afternoon in and amongst the Belfast community in the Square. Members of the public will be able to talk to the Baton of Hope team, and take pictures with them and The Baton. Very many thanks to Hope 4 Life NI and Destination CQ Bid for organising this event at Writers’ Square.

Public support and participation will be welcome.

The Ollie Foundation is running a special training programme alongside the Baton of Hope Tour. For details, please click here: Ollie Foundation Training