THREE dads who want to break the stigma surrounding suicide are eating up the miles as they take on a 300mile trek in memory of their young daughters who took their own lives.

The 3 Dads Walking, made up of Andy Airey from Cumbria, Mike Palmer from Greater Manchester and Tim Owen from Norfolk, are well under way with their walk to each of their homes across the country in aid of suicide prevention charity PAPYRUS.

Walking in memory of their daughters Sophie, a former Kirkbie Kendal School pupil, Beth and Emily, the men’s mission is to raise awareness of suicide prevention and promote the professional help and support that is available to struggling young people.

The Westmorland Gazette: IN MEMORY: The walk is in memory of Sophie Airey, Emily Owen and Beth Palmer

Setting off from Mr Airey’s home in Cumbria on Saturday they were waved off by crews from Appleby and Penrith fire stations as they headed up Shap Summit.

So far, they have travelled through Kendal, Wennington and through the Forest of Bowland to Darwen as they edge closer to Mr Palmer’s home in Manchester.

The trio are recording their progress on their website and have said the highlight of the walk has been meeting people who have shared their own stories and support for the men’s cause.

The Westmorland Gazette: STEEP: Mike Palmer and Tim Owen prepare for a climb uphill

In a post the three wrote: “We’ve had heartfelt and inspirational conversations with people along the way, who have shared their own difficult experiences, but talking about them has been so valuable.

“It’s humbling that people believe in what we are doing and are reaching out to us with their own experiences - opening up the conversation around suicide is why we do what we do.

“The more that we have these conversations, the smaller the stigma surrounding suicide, becomes. And - most importantly - more young lives can be saved.”

The Westmorland Gazette: LUNCH: 3 Dads Walking take a break on day four

The men have received messages from across the world and they reported that PAPYRUS’s helpline HOPELINE UK has received calls from people who reference 3 Dads Walking as their reason for getting in touch.

And their fundraising total got a significant boost after James Bond star Daniel Craig donated £10,000 to the cause.

They have so far managed to raise more than £300,000 and aim to complete their walking mission on October 23.

For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice please contact PAPYRUS HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039967 or email