Inspired by her own life experiences, Paige Hunter, an 18-year old college student, decided to write messages of hope and place on the Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland, England, hoping to help those struggling with their mental health to push through.
“When I was young I went through a trauma and I couldn’t see a light and felt really bad,” says Paige. “People helped me and if it wasn’t for them, I might not be here and I thought about if I could do the same for others by writing messages to help them.”
Paige says merely placing the notes on the bridge was emotional for her, especially since some people would approach her and share their story of struggle with her. The notes contain messages like: “Don’t give up, not now, not tomorrow, not ever!”, “This isn’t how it ends,” Step back, you’re worth it!”, and “Storms do not last forever.”
The Facebook post in which Paige explains the project and shows pictures of her notes has been shared nearly 3,000 times. One person posted anonymously that seeing the notes helped save her life. Paige has been told that at least six people have been saved by her notes in less than a month.
The local police department has given Paige a certificate to thank her for her “‘innovative way to reach out to those in a dark place.”
“For somebody so young, Paige has shown a real maturity and we thought it would only be right to thank her personally,” said Northumbria Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt. “She should be very proud of herself.”
Nearly a month after initially placing the notes on Wearmouth Bridge, Paige has since returned with even more notes of hope and inspiration.
“I wasn’t really doing this for an award, this was just something I wanted to do,” says Paige. “I just want to help people.”