Day 3 – 5asideCHESS Battling Suicide Bus Tour 2021

Today we met Jenny in Lidl car park. Jenny very bravely shared with us a photo of her daughter, Tamsin Rose, who took her own life a couple of years ago. You can’t look at the photo and not think that Tamsin Rose had everything to live for – she was beautiful, she had a good job as a primary school teacher and she had a loving family. And yet…. her mum is in a position of writing a message to her daughter on the Battling Suicide Bus. For Jenny the pain will never leave her until, in her words, Tamsin Rose has walked her home to the next life.Through talking to hundreds of people over the last few years, this is one of the things the Bus has come to represent for us. When people take their own lives they are in a place of despair and emptiness- they want their pain to end and believe that their family and friends would be better off without them. The messages on the Bus show that’s not true – for those left behind, the pain is just beginning and it’s never going to end as long as they breathe. Strange as it sounds given that we drive around in a Battling Suicide Bus – we are not really about Suicide. We are about connection because we believe that connecting ourselves with others and with the world is the antidote to loneliness and depression. Each one of us is just a dot, but if we join together as lots of dots we form a net. A safety net if you will for ourselves and for others. Our 5asideCHESS boards are just a tool to facilitate that connection. What you do with them, how and where you use them is up to you in the same way that a pen is a tool – what you write is up to you. One thing is for sure though, shove them in a drawer and they won’t do anything. Use them and who knows what you could be creating.