Our Recovery and Wellbeing Colleges in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield are joining forces to support the Yorkshire ‘Speak Their Name’ suicide memorial quilt project.
Originally founded in 2020 in Greater Manchester, the project has been brought to Yorkshire by local parents, Karen Sykes and Anna Scott, and will see the creation of a quilt made of individual cotton squares, each designed by local people who have been bereaved to suicide.
The Recovery and Wellbeing Colleges are hosting sessions to share more information about the project and how people across Yorkshire can get involved.
Matt Ellis, principal at Calderdale and Kirklees Recovery and Wellbeing College, said: “The project aims to support local people bereaved by suicide, with each square within the quilt representing the unique memories of a loved one.
“We’re proud to be supporting the creation of the quilt to help make a lasting beautiful memory of people who have died by suicide, whilst raising the profile and breaking the stigma around suicide.
“Introductory project sessions will be held online on 4 April and in person in Mirfield on 24 April and Halifax on 28 April. Anyone affected by suicide is welcome to join and you can visit our website to book your place at a session: www.calderdalekirkleesrc.nhs.uk.”
Karen Sykes, co-founder of the Yorkshire ‘Speak Their Name’ project, said: “As a wife and mum bereaved to suicide, I know too well that the journey of bereavement is isolating and complex, and it leaves you trying to navigate and deal with really tough and difficult emotions.
“You are often isolated and struggle with your grief. We believe that the quilt project is unique as it allows something positive to come from such tragedy and it’s a beautiful way to be part of something that will be a lasting piece of precious art.”
Anna Scott, co-founder of the Yorkshire ‘Speak Their Name’ project, said: “There’s a calm and peacefulness about creating something with your hands, and to do this in memory of someone you love and have lost can help you feel that you’ve given them a piece of you.”
“The impact of the quilt will be a powerful statement to not only highlight the love and loss but also the healing qualities of crafting, and the impact of suicide on those left behind.
“We should also never underestimate the relief and comfort of being around people who truly understand what we are feeling, and the project aims to connect us through our shared grief and experience of all our tragedies.
“Together when we speak their names it’s a loud and strong sound.”
The final quilt will tour Yorkshire and be displayed in different community spaces across the region from 10 September 2022 to celebrate International World Suicide Prevention Day.
For more information on the Greater Manchester ‘Speak Their Name’ project, please visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eNCSZ-9kzs
For more information on suicide bereavement support in West Yorkshire, please visit: www.suicidepreventionwestyorkshire.co.uk