Three Dads Walking challenge finishes in Norfolk having raised £500,000

Tim Owen, Andy Airey and Mike Palmer arrive in Shouldham, west Norfolk, clutching pictures of their daughters

Tim Owen, Andy Airey and Mike Palmer arrive in Shouldham, west Norfolk, clutching pictures of their daughters - Credit: Danielle Booden

Three fathers who stole the nation's hearts with a charity walk after losing their daughters to suicide have finally completed their Herculean effort. 

Tim Owen, Andy Airey and Mike Palmer were united in grief after each of their daughters took their own lives. 

Mr Owen, from Shouldham in west Norfolk, lost his 19-year-old daughter, Emily, in March 2020, while Mr Palmer's 17-year-old daughter, Beth, died in the same month. 

Mr Airey lost his daughter, Sophie, in 2018 when she was 29. 

The trio came together earlier this month to begin Three Dads Walking, which started in Morland, Cumbria, on October 9.

Family pay tribute to "?beautiful, funny, talented, and a little bit crazy?" daughter and sister. P

Emily Owen, from Shouldham, who died in March 2020 - Credit: Courtesy of Annabel Owen

And on Saturday morning, they were greeted by a rapturous reception in Shouldham - having trekked 300 miles and raised in excess of £500,000 for suicide prevention charity, Papyrus. 

"It has been long days, sometimes not much sleep," said Mr Owen, after reaching the finish clutching a photo of his daughter. 

"Andy has got some real problems with his feet which we've had to have sorted out, but it has been very tough. 

Tim Owen, from Shouldham, Andy Airey, from Cumbria, and Mike Palmer, from Manchester

Tim Owen, from Shouldham, Andy Airey, from Cumbria, and Mike Palmer, from Manchester, have completed their Three Dads Walking challenge - Credit: Danielle Booden

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"I'm going to have a long bath, then go to the pub tonight with the other two dads and our families."

Over the past few weeks, Tim, Andy and Mike have captured the country's imagination and been hailed as life-savers as they raise awareness of Papyrus. 

In doing so, they have opened up a wider conversation surrounding the importance of suicide prevention, especially among young people. 

Tim Owen, from Shouldham, pictured with his daughter Emily.

Tim Owen, from Shouldham, pictured with his daughter Emily - Credit: Tim Owen

Hefty donations came in from celebrities including Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman, with the latter dedicating her £10,000 contribution "to the memory of Beth, Sophie, and Emily."

Mr Owen added: "My favourite part of the walk was meeting people. There have been so many supportive of our cause, having that open discussion about suicide. 

"There's people that have been affected by suicide and it's been an honour to hear their stories. 

Crowds gathered to welcome the Three Dads Walking as they arrived in Norfolk

Crowds gathered to welcome the Three Dads Walking as they arrived in Norfolk - Credit: Danielle Booden

"They key thing is that, as a society, we need to talk about suicide, be open and have those discussions with our young people."

To donate to Three Dads Walking, visit justgiving.com/team/3DadsWalking1.

For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice, contact PAPYRUS HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039967, or email pat@papyrus-uk.org.

The Three Dads Walking being interviewed by BBC Breakfast

The Three Dads Walking being interviewed by BBC Breakfast - Credit: Danielle Booden

A bagpiper playing in Shouldham as Three Dads Walking finished their 300-mile trek 

A bagpiper playing in Shouldham as Three Dads Walking finished their 300-mile trek - Credit: Danielle Booden

Crowds gathered to welcome Three Dads Walking as they arrived in Shouldham

Crowds gathered to welcome Three Dads Walking as they arrived in Shouldham - Credit: Danielle Booden

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