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The UK’s biggest suicide prevention initiative


Newcastle Route – 27 june 2023

The Baton’s ‘Newcastle’ route covers large parts of Newcastle, but also reaches East to North Shields and South to Gateshead. It is a unifying journey that speaks to people from across the city and the region with a simple, powerful message – there is Hope, and there are always people who care.


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  northumberland park, north shields

The Baton will leave the Park and travel up to the sea front, from where it will be carried through Tynemouth’s Cullercoats to Whitley Bay’s Spanish City.

Public support will be welcome.

08:45 – 09:15
1  spanish city, whitley bay

Spanish City, an iconic funfair location for generations of children across more than half a century, is the venue for an event hosted by Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SoBS) Whitley Bay. The only SoBS in the North East, their Founder, Gill Oxley, will share stories of hope from their work. David Malone’s male voice choir will also be present, and will sing the Baton of Hope anthem as part of their repertoire.

Public support will be welcome.

09:15 – 10:05
A trio of supercars

Uniquely in Newcastle, we will have a trio of Supercars to transport The Baton to its next event. A Ferrari, a McClaren and an Aston Martin will jointly whisk The Baton from Whitley Bay to its next engagement with grassroots footballers!

Public support will be welcome.

10:05 – 11:05
2  the fa – blue flames sports ground 

Children from local schools, of all ages, are being invited to attend. They will have opportunities for training sessions with grassroots football coaches, the chance to see and be photographed beside the Supercars, and a moment to see/touch/hold The Baton. Age-appropriate messages will be woven into these interactions.

Public support will be welcome.

12:15 – 13:00
3  millfield house

The Baton will travel along Whitley Road to the Cox Lodge Tram Track, and then through to the Freeman Hospital. We hope that the Doctors, Nurses and staff at the hospital will be able to support us as we pass, and that some will follow us down Jesmond Dene to Millfield House where we will host a special event for representatives of our Emergency Services.

13:30 – 14:15
4  ouseburn

The Baton will arrive at Lime Street where artists, musicians, and business owners will create a mini-festival. There will be beautifully crafted poetry, an exhibition of art depicting Hope, and a variety of musical ensembles. Many schools will be involved, and Seven Stories Bookshop will open its door to allow browsing of mental wellbeing books that are especially suitable for young children. And there will also be bucketfuls of home-made lemonade!

Public support and participation will be welcome.

14:35 – 15:15
5  sage music centre, gateshead

There are a number of performances planned on the Gateshead side of the Tyne. These will include a performance of ‘The Sound of Silence’ – a specially created piece that was commissioned by the Baton of Hope.

Public support and participation will be welcome.

15:40 – 15:55
6  grey’s monument

At this emblematic Newcastle location, we anticipate a merge of runners from different points of the compass – each set representing a different organisation and all running to honour loved one’s lost to suicide. Recoco Recovery College will be at the Monument to welcome everyone. Although The Baton will not stay for long, we plan to capture a photo memento for each group of runners.

Public support will be welcome.

16:10 – 16:55
7  newcastle university

At the University, we will be bringing together key local Mental Health Charities with Mayors, Councillors and MPs. Anxious Minds of Wallsend, If U Care Share from Chester-Le-Street, and The Headlight Project from Teesside will be among the charities helping the politicians and legislators understand the importance of their suicide prevention work. We will also be giving the legislative leaders the opportunity to speak to the assembled audience, and to express their support through concrete ideas for positive change.

Public support and participation will be welcome.

17:10 – 17:45
8  royal victoria infirmary (rvi)

One of the well-known features of the RVI is a brightly painted model which stands in the grounds of the hospital – an Elephant named Hope. We will bring The Baton together with the Elephant, and find hope in the music of The RVI Choir.

Public support will be welcome.

18:00 – 19:15
finish  st james’s park – home to nufc

There is no finer place to finish The Baton’s tour of Newcastle than St James’s Park. We have an excellent programme to end the day: inspirational speakers, entertainers, singers, and dancers. The biggest suicide prevention initiative the UK has ever seen aims to host an amazing finale at the place that says: We Are United. And whilst we cannot hope to fill the Stadium, free entry is open to all. 

Public support and participation will be welcome.                        Note: under 13-year-olds must be accompanied by an adult.

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