Billy's Lifeline: New North East suicide loss support charity holds launch event

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A brand new suicide loss support charity has launched in South Shields.

Billy's Lifeline, a new suicide loss support charity, has held its launch event at the Little Haven Hotel, in South Shields, on Friday, February 23.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Natalie wanted to set up the charity after she and her family found that there was a lack of support for those impacted by suicide loss in the wake of Billy's death.

Speaking at the launch event on Friday afternoon, Natalie gave the NewcastleWorld an insight in to how the charity is aiming to help others.

From left: Natalie Kirk, founder of Billy's Lifeline, Cllr Margaret Peacock, Deputy Mayor of South Tyneside, Gladys Hobson, Deputy Mayoress of South Tyneside and Emma Lewell-Buck, MP for South Shields, at the Billy's Lifeline launch event.From left: Natalie Kirk, founder of Billy's Lifeline, Cllr Margaret Peacock, Deputy Mayor of South Tyneside, Gladys Hobson, Deputy Mayoress of South Tyneside and Emma Lewell-Buck, MP for South Shields, at the Billy's Lifeline launch event.
From left: Natalie Kirk, founder of Billy's Lifeline, Cllr Margaret Peacock, Deputy Mayor of South Tyneside, Gladys Hobson, Deputy Mayoress of South Tyneside and Emma Lewell-Buck, MP for South Shields, at the Billy's Lifeline launch event.

She said: "Billy was 51 when he sadly passed to suicide in 2019 and it was after that point that the family reached out to get support and it felt like people didn't know how to respond to us.

"In 2020, I went on to do a psychology degree and when I finished that last year, I looked for further advice and guidance on getting the charity registered.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"It has now been set up and now will provide one-to-one support via telephone or in person, offer group support, respite and we are able to access therapy for people so they don't have to face long waiting lists.

"It is bittersweet to have set it up, especially as the reason behind it is such a heartfelt one, but I've been out there in the community and this service is needed.

"So far, we've had really positive support and feedback from the people that we've been helping."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In attendance at the event was Councillor Margaret Peacock, the Deputy Mayor of South Tyneside, Gladys Hobson, Deputy Mayoress of South Tyneside, and Emma Lewell-Buck, MP for South Shields.

Speaking after the presentation at the event, the Deputy Mayor expressed the need for services like Billy's Lifeline in the borough.

Cllr Peacock commented: "I think it is a fantastic idea and I love the fact that all these organisations are working together and cooperating to help each other out.

"It was very enlightening for me to find out that it isn't just the emotional support that is there but the practical support as well.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Billy's Lifeline founder Natalie Kirk (centre), with Natalie Rafferty (left) and Ashlee Cummings, who are trustees of the charity,Billy's Lifeline founder Natalie Kirk (centre), with Natalie Rafferty (left) and Ashlee Cummings, who are trustees of the charity,
Billy's Lifeline founder Natalie Kirk (centre), with Natalie Rafferty (left) and Ashlee Cummings, who are trustees of the charity,

"The last thing you are thinking about is packing up someone's clothes who you've just lost to suicide.

"It is a really important thing to take that burden off them because we do have one of the highest rates of suicide in the country and therefore we should have some of the highest rates of support.

"I think Billy's Lifeline will be ideal for doing that."

You can find out more about Billy's Lifeline by visiting: https://billys.charity/.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.