Daniel Craig has donated £10,000 to a fundraising challenge by three fathers who lost their daughters to suicide.
Andy Airey, Mike Palmer and Tim Owen are undertaking a 300-mile walk in memory of their daughters Sophie, Beth and Emily. The Three Dads Walking trek will see them travel by foot between their homes in Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Norfolk respectively to raise money for the national suicide prevention charity Papyrus.
The fathers described the £10,000 donation from Craig as “fantastic”, with Airey saying they were really pleased the actor had allowed them to publicise it. “We found out about it yesterday morning, as Mike and Tim were travelling up to Cumbria – we were WhatsApping each other in a state of surprise,” he told the Guardian.
“By the time they’d arrived, we’d got a note saying Daniel Craig was happy to have his name attached to it, which was just fantastic – it’s a very generous donation, but to actually have the person who’s the single most famous actor in the world at the moment being happy to help was just brilliant.”
The trio set off on Saturday morning, aiming to complete the challenge within 15 days by covering an average of 20 miles a day. Speaking over the phone from Shap Fell in Cumbria with the first 14 miles down, Airey said that spreading awareness of suicide was the key mission behind the challenge.
“The critical thing is to get people talking about suicide prevention and introducing them to Papyrus, because they are an organisation that can help young people equip themselves to deal with the darkest times in our lives. And so by more people knowing about Papyrus, we will save lives.”
The fathers have written moving tributes to their daughters, who died within the space of three years. Sophie took her own life just before Christmas in 2018, and Emily and Beth died in March 2020. Sophie is described as “gregarious, good fun and was always able to raise a smile”, while Emily’s father said his daughter “lived life at a million miles an hour, a free-spirit with no limits”. Palmer described Beth as “incredibly popular with her wit and zest for life”.
“Three Dads Walking is not a club I want to belong to, but along with Andy and Tim it gives us, as fathers, an opportunity to fight back and maybe make a difference,” Palmer said in a statement shared by Papyrus.