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.
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.
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.