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Renfrewshire’s annual memorial service to commemorate those who have lost their lives to suicide will be held in Paisley this month.

The Memory Tree event, due to be held outside Renfrewshire House on Thursday 18 January, gives bereaved family and friends a chance to come together to remember lost loved ones and celebrate their lives. It also aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and offer a supportive space for anyone who is struggling.

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As part of the service, there will be the opportunity to place a purple heart on to the memorial tree with a message to a loved one that’s been lost.

The Memory Tree event is open to all and there will be a space inside Renfrewshire House Customer Contact Centre to write messages on a purple heart from 3.30pm, with the service starting outside at 4.15pm.

All those in attendance are invited to join Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron and local support groups for light refreshments after the service in Paisley Abbey.

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.

Provost Cameron, who helped establish the tree, said: “Our annual memorial event to those we have lost to suicide is a very important event here in Renfrewshire and offers everyone who has been affected by suicide the chance to remember our loved ones and share memories with others who are understand how we are feeling.

“Suicide is still very much a taboo subject, but our Choose Life Coordinator and other local support networks will be available after the service to provide any support you, or a friend or family member, may need.

“If you’re unable to make it along, please get in touch with the team to talk about how you are feeling or what support you need. Someone is always there to listen.”

If you are unable to attend the event but would still like to have a heart placed on the tree in memory of a loved one, please contact the Choose Life team at chooselife.sw@renfrewshire.gov.uk

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

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Founder of Paisley.org.uk in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X