'Bringing suicide into the light is part of Cameron's legacy'

Professor John Gibson and wife Isobel will walk the length of the UK in memory of his son Cameron, who took his own life.

Former Aberdeen University professor John Gibson takes on charity walk from Lands End to John O’Groats Email
Professor John Gibson (left) and his wife, Isobel, will be joined by family friend John Gallacher on the walk.

The parents of a man who lost his life to suicide will walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise awareness of the impact it can have on families.

Professor John Gibson and wife Isobel lost their son Cameron in October, 2019.

Following his death, they set up a charity, the Canmore Trust, which aims to create safe spaces for lives impacted by suicide.

They are now set to walk the length of the UK and hope to raise £250,000 for the charity.

The couple will be joined by family friend John Gallacher on the challenge, which also sets out to open up a national conversation about suicide and suicide prevention.

It will use the hashtag, #onemanwalkingamilliontalking to help encourage conversation, as well as providing updates on their journey.

The challenge is expected to take until the end of August, with the first stage seeing them tackle the South West Coastal Path.

They will then travel along the Welsh border into the Peak District and through the Pennines before reaching Scotland.

The trio plan to reach John O’Groats on Saturday, August 27, having left Land’s End on June 13.

Mr Gibson retired from his post as director at the University of Aberdeen’s Institute of Dentistry shortly after Cameron’s death.

Staff and students from the university will also be involved in the venture, with events aimed at raising donations for the charity.

“It means a huge amount to Isobel and I to be undertaking this 1,200-mile adventure – which has been in the planning for over a year now but was frequently thwarted by Covid and lockdowns,” Mr Gibson said.

“Walking in the great outdoors has been a significant part of trying to recover from Cameron’s death in October 2019, and that’s why we are now combining walking with opening up a national conversation about suicide and suicide prevention.

“We have already had some very meaningful conversations with many people as we walk – so many families, communities and workplaces have been affected by suicide and opening up the conversation and bringing suicide into the light is part of Cameron’s legacy.”