20 June 2023


      5asideCHESS Battling Suicide Bus takes to the road again to battle the loneliness to suicide pipeline

Social enterprise 5asideCHESS have confirmed the first of their mini tours this summer with the Battling Suicide Bus as they aim, once again, to highlight the serious mental health issues caused as a result of social isolation and break the loneliness to suicide pipeline. 

On Friday 30th June, the team will be at the Life Rooms in Walton, Liverpool where they will be training volunteer WingMEN to use a mini game of chess as an ice-breaker to play, teach, chat, (listen and signpost) in their local community.

On 1st July, the Bus will travel on to Morecambe seafront for A hero’s journey with 5asideCHESS and St George and the Dragon. Aimed at families although all are welcome, this pre Morecambe Fringe interaction will take place by the giant frame on the sea front. Participants will collect their personal 5asideCHESS set before starting their hero’s challenge to play five games with five characters from St George and the Dragon on the sea front, collecting tokens of wisdom along the way. Once they have all five pieces of treasure they will be able to collect their personal certificate from Cambridge. To take part there will be a donation, 50% of which will go to Morecambe Fringe. Minimum donation £5, suggested donation £10.

On Monday 3rd July the Bus will arrive in Leicester town centre where the team will launch their new regular weekend presence in Leicester market place which will be run by Leicester’s 5asideCHESS WingMAN, Adrian.

Finally, on Tuesday 4th July the Battling Suicide Bus will take part in the launch of the Baton of Hope at Furzton Lake in Milton Keynes, accompanying the Baton on its journey to Stadium MK for the Creating Hope; Preventing Suicide conference.

Ross Smith, Co-founder of 5asideCHESS said; “We first put the Battling Suicide Bus on the road in 2018 and it is now covered in several hundred messages, each written by people who have lost loved ones to suicide. It’s all too easy to quote statistics of lives lost, but every one of these messages on the Bus represents someone’s heartbreaking personal story. We believe that the antidote for loneliness has to be connection and that is what we are trying to bring about using a little game of chess. We visit communities as well as working in prisons, universities and work-places around the UK. In each place, we train volunteer WingMEN to use the game to help others to take a journey to help themselves and help their mental health in the process. We have a simple motto, “Your 1st Move is Hello”.

The Battling Suicide Bus is supported by commercial kitchen cleaning company, Bright Hygiene who help keep the Bus on the road.

For more details of this and other tours, email hello@5asidechess.com