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The Stranger on the Bridge and other stories of friendship and support

Newcastle United Foundation and The Road to Recovery Trust host a special event exploring the power of friendship in mental health and wellbeing.

The Stranger on the Bridge

 and other stories of friendship and support

Enjoy readings and talks from inspirational author Jonny Benjamin MBE, Newcastle United Foundation Wellbeing Manager, Ashley Lowe, Road to Recovery Trust Chief Executive, Peter Mitchell and founder of If You Care Share, Matthew Smith.

Award-winning mental health campaigner, author and film producer, Jonny Benjamin MBE will share his story of how a passing stranger stopped him from taking his own life in 2008.

The Stranger on the Bridge, which was made into a book and a documentary film, tells the story of how, having been recently diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder, Jonny stood on London’s Waterloo Bridge and prepared to take his own life.

That was until a stranger walking across the bridge talked Jonny down from the edge. Jonny was immediately taken to hospital and didn’t see the stranger again, but, with the support of the charity Rethink Mental Illness, he launched the #FindMike campaign, to track the stranger down. The campaign reached over 300 million people worldwide and eventually led to Neil Laybourn - the man who saved Jonny’s life.                                       

Newcastle United Foundation’s #BeAGameChanger campaign encourages NUFC fans to talk more openly about mental health. Wellbeing Manager, Ashley Lowe, will talk about the Foundation’s wellbeing programme, and why the football community is a great place to support your mates.                                                                   

Road to Recovery Trust CEO and former Director of Programmes at Tyne Tees, Peter Mitchell, will discuss the importance of friendship within the recovery community, and why recovery cafes like George Street Social offer an essential lifeline to people in recovery form addiction problems.

And Matthew Smith will be sharing his personal story of losing his brother to suicide and the importance of sharing and acknowledging that we all need to share in different ways.

There will be opportunities to ask all speakers questions at the end of the event.

An inspirational event for anyone interested in, experiencing or supporting someone with a mental health problem.

Tickets cost just £2. All money goes directly to the Road to Recovery Trust.

To book, click here