A passerby prevented a young man from taking his own life after spotting an eerie clue in his face.
Ian Chapman, from Padiham, Lancashire, was walking over a bridge as he crossed paths with the stranger but after saying hello he realised there was something off.
The 61-year-old noticed an absence of emotion in the man’s eyes, as though he was “looking straight through him”.
He realised he was going to take his own life and called the police, reports LancsLive.
Ian said: “I was walking past this gentleman who didn’t reply to me. When I said hello and I turned around and he was climbing over the edge of the bridge.
“I offered him my phone, to see if there was anyone he wanted to ring. Then I thought, what am I doing? He could have just lost a family member and that could be really triggering for him. So, I turned away and called the police.”
By the time Ian got to the end of the bridge, the police had already arrived. However, the dad-of-two didn’t want to stay at the scene much longer and set off home.
Ian said: “I was just walking and my dog scared this lady who was tending to her garden. She saw me crying and asked if I was OK and if I wanted to come into her house.
“I just told her that I needed to get back home to my wife and I explained what had just happened.
“Her house was next door to a halfway house type place, so she came to tell me later on that the man had been saved.”
Although the gentleman was saved, Ian has no further update about him.
The experience has stuck with him and a year on, Ian recognises that charities, particularly local ones, rely on funding which they often have to fight hard to get.
Now, off the back of the incident he witnessed and his previous love of fundraising, Ian will be doing a walk, completely barefooted from Burnley to Bacup – a total of seven miles.
Burnley born and bred, Ian decided he wanted to do the barefoot walk after brainstorming words that begin with the letter B, choosing the starting point, destination and how he’d go about it.
His love for raising money came after the coronavirus pandemic which saw employees at his work “laid of” for one week every month.
He said: “Since April this year, one week a month we get laid off due to a shortage in the supply chain. So, I decided I needed another focus and I was thinking, what can I do? I was contemplating things beginning with a B for Burnley and it went from there, my wife thinks I’m off my head.”
Ian will be raising money for Casual Minds Matter CIC, a Burnley based charity that help to provide professional support and counselling to men who are struggling with their mental health.
“I’ve never really seen anyone who’s had to battle with depression or alcohol or drug abuse or anything like that,” Ian continued. “It’s just never really been something that the people around me have suffered with.
“I obviously knew people were living with it but I didn’t fully appreciate to what degree people lived with it. When I do my walks, I carry my trainers with me and it’s like a safety net if I decide I want to give up.
“People that are suffering don’t always have those safety nets though and that’s why I’m raising money for the charity. I just want to make people aware that if you need help, there’s always someone just a phone call away.”
Ian has been gearing himself up for his walk, which will take place on Saturday, August 20 from St. Catherine’s Community Centre to the Cornerstones pub in Bacup.