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The Martin Gallier Project: Providing a trifecta of support to the UK community 

The Martin Gallier Project: Providing a trifecta of support to the UK community 

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After losing her father, Martin, to suicide in 2017, Jessica Gallier set out to create a charity that could help keep everyone in the United Kingdom safer from suicide. Today, the all-encompassing Martin Gallier Project provides suicide intervention, prevention and postvention training and assistance to those who need it most and is the only service in the Northwest region of England to offer this range of support.  

“We offer immediate access and support to anyone effected by suicide,” says Deryn Basnett, COO of the Martin Gallier Project. “Whether you are bereaved by suicide, having thoughts of suicide, having a suicidal crisis or if you’re supporting someone who is suicidal – anything to do with suicide. We’re here to help.” 

One of the primary purposes of the project initially was to provide funded LivingWorks ASIST training to families who needed it most so they could provide interventions at home, safely. Deryn says people were coming to The Martin Gallier Project in crisis, and because they would never turn anyone in crisis away, the scope of the project expanded into what it has become now.  

“The prevention side of what we do is all about breaking the stigma and providing training with LivingWorks safeTALK and ASIST,” says Deryn. “We’ve been doing interventions for five years. The figures in February showed we were just over 30,000 interventions over those five years. We’ve also got loads of different items within our postvention service as well, and we’ve found these things were all lacking within our community.” 

“Suicide prevention is everybody’s business. It’s such a big issue worldwide and we all have a part to play. The more people that are trained allows us to build more suicide safer communities and more lives will be saved.” 

– Deryn Basnett

All staff at The Martin Gallier project have been affected by suicide in some way. Deryn says their experiences have lit a collective fire under the bellies of all employees, allowing them to passionately work towards the goal of keeping all communities safer from suicide. 

“It is a big responsibility that we carry, but it is something that everybody is passionate about. We do it in a safe way using the LivingWorks Pathway for Assisting Life Model and all of our safety plans are built around that.” 

Deryn lost her brother, Daniel, to suicide in 2020. She says in one breath people were telling her there was nothing she could have done, and in another was being told suicide can be prevented. This set her on a path to becoming a LivingWorks ASIST Trainer and working for The Martin Gallier Project. 

“I used to think ‘I’m not a doctor, I’m not a psychiatrist, I don’t know what I’m talking about’ but if someone had given me the framework to do that non-clinical intervention, I know that would have made a world of difference,” says Deryn. “Every time I deliver a LivingWorks ASIST workshop, it reminds me why I got into this line of work in the first place. It’s so that another family member doesn’t have to go through this, and we can provide them with the tools, skills and confidence to support their loved ones.” 

For her work with The Martin Gallier Project, Basnett was recognised as a finalist for the 2024 Charity Leader of the Year award from the Steve Morgan Foundation – which provides funding, support, expertise and best practice to organisations and charities.  

“I couldn’t believe it,” says Deryn. “It was a real privilege, and I still can’t believe it now.” 

She says she wouldn’t have received the recognition without the amazing team at The Martin Gallier project. 

“They are absolutely phenomenal. Everyone is really passionate about what they do and we have a really tight-knit team,” says Deryn. “That award wasn’t just for me, it was for all of the staff.” 

Deryn Basnett at the Steve Morgan 2024 Conference and Awards ceremony. Photo: Linkedin/Jessica Gallier-Booth

As for what the future holds, Deryn hopes we can collectively reach a point where there are zero suicides worldwide. 

“Whether it is next year, in ten years or 100 years, as long as we get to zero suicides. Suicide can be prevented, so let’s do it,” says Deryn. “The Martin Gallier Project is looking to be a piece of that pie. Being on that journey with LivingWorks, it’s very humbling to be a part of the wider mission to help keep all communities safer from suicide.” 

To learn more about The Martin Gallier Project, you can visit their website.

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