The Washington Galleries Shopping Centre are going the extra mile to show their support for an award-winning campaign ran by North East-based suicide prevention charity If U Care Share Foundation.
The ‘Inside Out’ campaign takes place every year to mark World Suicide Prevention Day on 10th September.
This year marks the fifth anniversary of Inside Out, as the Foundation asks supporters to turn their clothes inside out and post images on social media using the hashtag #AskMeWhy and #InsideOut.
The Galleries are a significant role in this year’s campaign with a number of activities starting this Saturday as If U Care Share Foundation staff will be in the Centre to engage with shoppers.
On Tuesday 10th September four mannequins will be placed around the centre to represent the four people that take their own lives in the North East each week.
There will also be a giant Inside Out t-shirt on display for shoppers to offer up a positive message to help others who might be feeling down and a pillar will be branded with information about If U Care Share and how people can get help if needed and also donate.
The Centre have also confirmed that they will be donating funds from its community charity fund.
Support on the day will also continue as a number of fashion retailers will display an If U Care Share t-shirt on their mannequins including Sainsbury’s, Asda, Bonmarche, Yours, Next, Matalan, New Look, River Island and Outfit.
David McNee, centre manager at the Galleries Shopping Centre, said: “We have supported If U Care Share for many years as part of their Inside Out Campaign.
“The latest figures released just last week has shown that suicide in the UK has risen for the first time since 2013 and we feel it is vital that the Galleries, which is an integral part of the local community, helps to promote the charity and the fantastic work that they do.
“The display uses real stories of people from the north east who have been affected by suicide and highlights that it can happen to anyone one, at any time and hopes to open up positive conversations that might just make a difference.”
If U Care Share Foundation was set up in 2005 after 19-year-old Daniel O’Hare took his own life.
Daniel’s brothers Matthew and Ben Smith and cousin Sarah Smith founded the Foundation, which aims to prevent suicides, intervene, and provide support for those affected by it.
Matthew spoke of the Galleries support and the Inside Out campaign saying “We know suicide literally can turn someone’s life Inside Out therefore that is why we want to bring the conversation from the Inside Out.
“We know the power of having timely and appropriate support and it starts with a conversation.
“We would love to have the support of people from every walk of life to make this year the biggest Inside Out campaign yet.
“As a Foundation, we have been extremely grateful for the support we have received from The Galleries over the time we have ran the Inside Out campaign and we would encourage everyone within the centre to once again wear an item of clothing inside, start a conversation and spread our message.”