Darkness Into Light – 2020
It is 4am, and just before the break of dawn a procession departs from the South Inch, progresses along Tay Street, and circling the North Inch before lit candles are placed in memory of those who have died by suicide. A procession of light shining like a beacon from the darkness and into the early light of day.
This Saturday would have been our sixth Darkness Into Light walk and our inaugural walk with our newly established safe space, The Lighthouse for Perth. We walk to raise awareness of self-harm, and to remember those who have died by suicide. This year, we will be spending this day remembering those who have died from the comfort of our homes. We also felt that we could use this opportunity to share the story of Darkness Into Light and how it has grown from a candlelit walk, and its journey to establishing a purpose-built safe space and phoneline in Perth City Centre.
This event, our charity The Lighthouse for Perth, would not have been possible without Tracy Swan and her daughter Jodie McNab. Tracy lost her daughter Jodie to suicide May 18, 2013. After Jodie’s death, Tracy established The Lighthouse for Perth Charity to help others like Jodie and created the Darkness Into Light walk to raise awareness of suicide and self-harm, whilst simultaneously raising funds for a safe space. Tracy wanted to create a space of safety for people who self-harm and deal with suicidal thoughts, without fear of judgement or risk of upsetting family members.
Throughout the years, The Lighthouse for Perth charity has evolved from an awareness and fundraising movement and officially opened our safe space in Kinnoull Street was opened by our manager Sharon Thomas on January, 2020. Kinnoull Street allowed volunteers to host a support line and had hoped to develop into a drop-in centre. However, within 3 months of announcing our presence to the people of Perth, the demand for The Lighthouse for Perth grew and on March 2020 we partnered up with Anchor House and started planning our move into The Nuek.
The Nuek, in partnership with Anchor House, will offer our service users a custom built safe-space – a one-stop shop where we can support our service users in a large, safe, comfortable environment and refer them to local support services. Although today we will miss you at our walk, we will all be together soon when we welcome you to our new home.
- The Lighthouse for Perth x