Hundreds of people across the city have watched a baton relay to raise awareness of suicide and mental health issues.

The Baton of Hope relay has seen runners walking the baton across Brighton and stopping at major sites in the city.

The relay, which has taken place across the UK, saw people whose lives have been affected by suicide carrying the baton and ending in an “evening of hope” at Brighton Dome with speeches and music.

Maria Fernandez, who walked with the baton after her son died, said: “Ever since I read about the relay I was really inspired.

The Argus: Maria FernandezMaria Fernandez (Image: Andrew Gardner | The Argus)

“I sense that my son [known as Fernandez or Fern] is with me and is saying ‘go mum’.

“People have been inspired to do something and that is absolutely wonderful.”

The relay began at the Peace Statue on Hove seafront at 8am this morning and has been travelling across the city at numerous events.

After stopping off at the Brighthelm Gardens this afternoon, the baton will also stop at The Bevy community pub. Albion midfielder Solly March will later be carrying the baton around the North Laine.


Jasmine Ardley, who carried the baton on the last leg into the Brighthelm Gardens, said: “It was really emotional. It feels like really refreshing just being a part od something that is so close to me.

The Argus: Jasmine Ardley with the batonJasmine Ardley with the baton (Image: Andrew Gardner | The Argus)

“This is something that I was made to do. I would love to see more help for people struggling.”

The Baton of Hope relay has been a national event which has seen participants from across the country take part in Manchester, Bristol and Cardiff among other cities.

Brighton is the penultimate city on the relay which will see the baton presented to Downing Street in London tomorrow.

When life is difficult, Samaritans are there – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at, or visit to find your nearest branch.