Family get in saddle to help prevent suicides

Mary Ackland, Emily Ackland, Philip Barnes and Diane Barnes.
Mary Ackland, Emily Ackland, Philip Barnes and Diane Barnes.

A family team is preparing to cycle hundreds of miles to raise money for a suicide prevention charity.

Diane Barnes and her son, Philip, will be riding from London to Paris to raise money for Papyrus in memory of her daughter Lizzie, who committed suicide aged just 20.

Lizzie Barnes.

Lizzie Barnes.

They will be joining Lizzie’s aunt, Mary Ackland, and 17-year-old cousin Emily Ackland, who pursuaded the family to get in the saddle.

Emily said: “Lizzie was beautiful, intelligent and a lovely girl who I looked up to as a cousin, friend and a role model.

“She had suffered from depression, and like many other young people, felt she couldn’t escape her illness.

“I decided I wanted to do something for Lizzie and raise awareness of the problems that depression and suicide bring to so many people.”

The group, named Team Lizzie, has already raised more than £4,000 and will continue to fundraise as they prepare to set off on Wednesday, July 30.

Emily added: “If the money we raise can prevent one family the pain we’ve had to go through, it’ll be worth it.

“Suicide is a sensitive topic and is often avoided in schools and conversation.”

Lizzie, from Westoning, took her own life in December 2012 after beingtreated in Bedford Hospital’s mental health unit, Weller Wing.

An inquest into her death heard failings in her treatment contributed to her suicide just days after being discharged.

More information go to