Earlier this summer a friend got in touch to ask whether I could help raise funds for Maytree (https://www.maytree.org.uk), by running the 2015 Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon. A ‘Sanctuary for the Suicidal’, Maytree’s invaluable work meant my answer was of course ‘YES!’
Natalie Howarth, Director of Maytree, tells us more:
I’ve never heard of Maytree; what is it?
Maytree is a National Charity. We provide a unique residential service for people in suicidal crisis . We offer a free 4-night/5-day one-off stay to adults over the age of 18 from across the UK. Our aim is to provide a safe, confidential, non-medical environment, where guests can explore their suicidal thoughts and feelings, and be heard with compassion and without judgement.
Can you describe a typical stay at Maytree?
Everyone’s stay at Maytree is unique to them, but a typical stay will consist of a guest talking, reflecting and resting. As a guest at Maytree, you’ll have…
• A room of your own, with full use of the kitchen, sitting room and garden.
• Lots of time to talk, including one-to-one, to be heard and explore thoughts and feelings
• Privacy when you need your own space.
• Simple, home-cooked meals, with shops nearby for anything else you need.
Does Maytree offer outreach support, or support to family members?
We provide telephone befriending support to family and friends who are concerned about an individual. Maytree is a respite centre for people in suicidal crisis, our intervention and support is short term, therefore we provide our guests with links and referrals to longer term support, should they need it.
Where is Maytree based?
Finsbury Park, North London
Do people have to live in London to get support from Maytree?
As we are a National charity, we offer support to adults across the whole of the UK.
How is Maytree funded?
Our funding comes from Trust and Foundations, Big lottery, Comic Relief, donations from kind hearted individuals, corporates and small businesses, and from providing consultation and training to other organisations.
Does Maytree have any plans to expand?
Yes we do. We have just started discussions about replicating. Watch this space !
How can people get involved with Maytree?
In a number of ways . If you’ve got what it takes, you could become a volunteer befriender. You could get involved by undertaking a fundraising challenge, by donating, or offering gifts in kind. And by challenging the last taboo by talking about suicide. For more information on how you can get involved jump onto our website https://www.maytree.org.uk
Are there any other interesting things that you can tell me about Maytree?!
Yes, we have a talking kettle ! Follow it on https://twitter.com/maytreekettle
If you are moved to donate—however much or little—then it is much appreciated and you can do so at
Coincidentally, as I type this blog, today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Which makes me even more motivated to dust off my trainers, limber up and hope that Natalie brings that talking kettle to the finish line on October 11th!