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Memorial football fest brings community together

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Family and friends of loved ones who lost their lives to suicide will once again take to the pitch for an annual football tournament in Ferguslie.

Now in its fourth year, over 100 budding football enthusiasts are expected to take part in the 7-a-side competition No Substitute for Life on Sunday 28 June, 12pm-4pm.

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The memorial event will also host a wide variety of entertainment for children and adults of all ages including arts and crafts activities and a bouncy castle.

Later on there will be an opportunity for bereaved family and friends to write a message for a loved one on a purple heart and attach it to the Ferguslie Memorial Tree.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of the Shadow Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Integration Joint Board, said: “No Substitute for Life is a very popular event and it is great to see residents get behind it each year. With over sixteen teams taking part, it promises to be a great day out for families with lots to keep the kids entertained.

“But the real message of the event is that talking about suicide can save lives. Preventing the stigma of suicide not only helps those who have been bereaved by suicide, but makes it easier for us all to talk about it with our family and friends, helping people to speak out and get the support they need.”

The tournament is part of a campaign to raise awareness of suicide among young men and provide an opportunity for survivors of bereavement by suicide to commemorate their loved ones.

The Football Tournament will be held in Ferguslie Park Sports Centre and the family activities will be held in the Tannahill Centre.

The Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) support group meets on the last Tuesday of every month in the Charleston Centre between 7pm and 9pm.

No Substitute for Life is organised by community volunteers in partnership with Choose Life, Recovery Across Mental Health (RAMH) and Engage Renfrewshire.

The national helpline Breathing Space can be reached on 0800 83 85 87, and the number for The Samaritans is 08457 90 90 90.

Recovery Across Mental Health (RAMH) First Crisis can be contacted on 0141 848 9090.

For more information on suicide prevention, call 0141 849 2200, or email elizabeth.aitken@renfrewshire.gov.uk.