Staff from housebuilding firm Vistry East Midlands are taking part in a unique event which aims to raise awareness around the issue of suicide among young people.
This month staff from the company, based in Peterborough, will be taking part in their leg of this national event, which will see a commemorative book carried more than 1,000 miles across the country without the assistance of any motorised transport.
The Vistry Voyage has been organised by the housebuilder and involves hundreds of its staff in a show of support for its group charity Papyrus – which works to help prevent suicide in the younger generation.
Fraser Hopes, regional managing director of Vistry East Midlands, said: “Papyrus is a charity which is very close to all of our hearts, and we have been supporting the organisation in a number of ways throughout the year.
“The Vistry Voyage is one of the biggest charity events we have organised to date as a company and we are proud that so many people from the business are giving their spare time to play their part.
“People will be running, cycling, walking and even kayaking and paddle-boarding. The whole concept of the voyage is remarkable and I want to send a big thank you out to everyone who is getting involved.
“The issue of suicide is one that is important to all of us as a business particularly as it affects so many of the people who work in our industry.”
The book is being taken by foot, on two wheels and by various different forms of human-powered transport.
Vistry East Midlands is one of 23 business units across the country stretching from the North East of England to Devon and Cornwall.
Staff from each business unit will take be taking charge of the book for their own section of the journey.
Volunteers from across the business are playing their part and will be using all available means of human-powered transport from scooters to roller skates. In total the journey will cover 1,163 miles from start to finish.
Everyone who takes part in the mammoth trek will personally sign the book and money is also being raised through sponsorship throughout the six-week-long journey.
Those who have been affected by suicide in some way in their lives – be it through friends, family, colleagues or someone in their community – are joining the voyage. Others who simply wish to pledge their support by raising awareness are backing the appeal.
The ambitious event has been planned to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day which this year takes place on Saturday, September 10th. It has long been recognised that the housebuilding industry has one of the highest suicide rates of all the professions.
According to national statistics more than 1,400 construction workers took their own lives between 2011 and 2015. The suicide rate for the industry is estimated at more than three times the national average for men.
For updates on the Vistry Voyage, visit www.vistrygroup.co.uk and follow the housebuilder on social media.