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Bid to end Beachy Head suicides
Clifftop lifesavers say they are hoping to end suicide at a beauty spot after saving the lives of hundreds of people already this year.
The Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team have saved 252 people since January with more than 600 searches along the East Sussex cliff top.
The team say they are on course for their busiest year, saving even more lives than last year’s record of more than 300.
This record-breaking figure includes 92 reported incidents in August with 41 people being rescued.
If the current rate continues, more than 350 lives could be saved by the end of this year.
New director Mark Pybus said the draw of Beachy Head for those looking to end their lives remained unexplained.
He said: “It’s an ongoing situation and there doesn’t seem to be any let up, it does get busier and it will continue to get busier.
“But we do hope that at some stage to end this, we have a new vision statement to end suicide at Beachy Head.
“We do believe we will achieve that but we can’t put a timeframe on that.
“There are a million people who come to Beachy Head each year and there are far, far more people who come to gaze in awe than there are people who come with suicide in their hearts.”
Mr Pybus said the reasons why numbers heading to the cliffs were continuing to increase were complicated.
He said: “We are having a busy year for rescues, it could well be our busiest year.
“We don’t really know why but you only have to look at society at the moment, we are in a long depression.”
The team added six new volunteers to their existing team of 19 at the end of last year and are in the process of training more team members.
Mr Pybus said the team are still looking for committed Christian volunteers and funding.
The service cost £200,000 to run last year with fundraising just about covering the cost.
He added: “Last year was the first time we have hired people full-time with a primary focus they are being out on patrol.
“We made a significant move last year to have more cover, to have more people who are fresh when they are covering the edge.”
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