Those who have lost a loved one to suicide will have the opportunity to pay tribute at a special ceremony in Paisley.

The annual memorial service will be held at the memorial tree in the grounds of Renfrewshire House in Paisley on Thursday 25 January.

Renfrewshire support group Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) will host the short service which will be attended by Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, Reverend Alan Birss, Paisley Abbey and Father John Eagers on behalf of the Diocese of Paisley.

Friends and relatives are invited to meet at the Marriage Suite from 3:15pm to collect a commemorative purple heart on which they can write a message to a loved one, if so desired, to place on the tree.

At 3:30pm there will be a short service followed by a procession to the memorial tree, where the Provost will lay a wreath and light the tree.

Following the service all those attending are cordially invited to join the Provost, the local SOBS support group and the Choose Life team for light refreshments in Paisley Abbey.

The Cooperative Funeralcare will kindly provide the flowers to be laid at the memorial.

Provost Cameron said: “Suicide can affect anyone, of any age and gender, and it is important we offer the correct support to those who have been affected by this issue.

“The memorial tree gives an opportunity for friends and family to come together to remember those who have been lost, while also having the chance to meet others who have faced similar heartache.

“I will be attending to pay my respects and I would encourage anyone affected to join me.”

The memorial tree was first dedicated in 2010 as a permanent memorial to those who have died through suicide and is believed to have been the first of its kind in Scotland.

The service is open to anyone and aims to provide an opportunity to remember those who have been lost while providing an arm of support to the survivors. It is an opportunity to connect with others who have faced a similar situation.

The SOBS group meets on the last Wednesday of every month at Johnstone Day Care Centre, 21 Walkinshaw St, Johnstone, PA5 8AF, from 7pm-8:30pm, and new members are always welcome.

For more information contact the Choose Life Team on 0141 849 2200 or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/sobs.

If you are dealing with suicidal thoughts, or you know someone that might be, then please call one of the helpline numbers: SOBS 0300 111 5065, Samaritan’s 116 123, Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87, RAMH First Crisis 0141 849 90 90 or 0500 829 093