top of page

About Us

Charity History 

After becoming increasingly overwhelmed with life, Neil William Paterson felt that his only option was to complete suicide and, in a selfless attempt to relieve his family of the constant worry over his welfare, he sadly ended his pain in 2011. 

In an equally brave action, his mother Donna took what had been a profoundly tragic event and turned it into a positive, founding a charity in Neil’s name which could provide a network of support for those travelling the same lonely path she too had walked along. 

With support from friends, family and professionals, Neil’s Hugs Foundation became a charity in December 2016, successfully providing comfort and compassion in several different ways. 

Charity Objectives 

To assist people in West Lothian, surrounding areas and eventually all over Scotland who are affected by either the attempted or completed suicide of someone close to their heart. 

Charity Aims 

  • To support those struggling to cope with either the attempted or completed suicide of a loved one 

  • To support those dealing with mild to moderate mental ill health 

  • To help improve people’s mental health by reducing isolation 

  • To raise awareness of issues surrounding why some feel suicide to be the only option left 

  • To reduce the stigma attached to suicide 

  • To provide a safe, confidential space to talk 

  • To significantly improve the mental health of those adversely affected by the loss of someone to suicide 

  • To signpost people to other support services when required 

Over the last few years, the charity has grown and continues to develop. We now have 3 paid members of staff, Donna the Founder/CEO, Clare our Administrator, and newly appointed Judith our Development Officer. With our dedicated team of wonderful volunteers, we provide a range of services such as  

A Listening Ear either face-to-face, virtual or telephone.  

1-2-1 Support this service provides confidential support and reassurance with practical and emotional help 

Befriending offers supportive, reliable relationships through volunteer befrienders to people who would otherwise be socially isolated 

Support groups for people who have lost someone to suicide 

Support groups for people with mild to moderate mental ill health 

Support groups for people struggling with issues concerning their own mental health or as a direct result of someone else’s mental ill health 

Signposting to other support services where required 

Our partnerships include supporting the students and staff of West Lothian College we hold weekly Cuppa and Chat Drop ins during term times. 

Alongside all the above we continue to fundraise and raise awareness with the incredible support of our volunteers. Their incredible commitment to the charity and service users is overwhelming.  

Neil's Hugs Foundation founder Donna Paterson-Harvie has shared her full story which can be read here.

bottom of page