Tree planting ceremony for those lost to suicide

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A poignant ceremony was held in Peterhead last weekend to commemorate those who had lost their lives to suicide.

Organised by Choose Life co-ordinator Neil Murray, a tree was planted in the town’s Landale Road Community Gardens in a ceremony attended by invited guests and locals.

The tree had been donated by the Happy Plant Garden Centre in Mintlaw and was planted next to a granite memorial which was inscribed with the words ‘Choose Life - to remember those lost to suicide’.

Last year some 60 people from across Aberdeenshire lost their lives as a result of suicide and now the Choose Life campaign is working to help raise awareness and prevent further deaths from happening.

Aberdeenshire Council’s deputy provost, Cllr Norman Smith, attended the ceremony and helped plant the tree.

He said: “It is important that we offer support to those who have been close to someone who has taken their own life.

“We also need to raise awareness of suicide to encourage folk to seek help.”

Mr Murray added: “Suicide devastates families and communities leaving people with so many qustions unanswered.

“This is an opportunity for those affected by loss to gain comfort and support from others.”

Mr Murray and Cllr Smith were joined at the service by Aberdeen’s Royal Cornhill Hospital chaplain, Donald Metson, and Fiona Steven from the council’s social work department and Calvin Little from NHS Grampian.