Family and friends of those who lost their life to suicide gathered for the emotional unveiling of a quilt in their memory.

Squares of fabric made by the loved ones of those who took their own lives make up the quilts which were unveiled at Newcastle’s City Library on Saturday (November 11) and will displayed across the region in the coming year.

The quilts remember 77 people – 56 men and 21 women - from across Tyneside, Wearside, County Durham, Teesside, and Darlington. The North East has the highest suicide rate in the country.

Before it was unveiled families placed candles in front of photos of their loved ones.

The Northern Echo: The pictures of the loved ones remembered on the quilt.The pictures of the loved ones remembered on the quilt. (Image: SMJ PHOTOGRAPHY)

Suzanne Howes, who launched the 'Speak Their Name - North East Suicide Memorial Quilt' project after losing her youngest son Samuel aged 17, said: “I saw the Yorkshire ‘Speak Their Name’ being advertised asking for people to make a square and I cheekily responded and said, ‘Hey is Newcastle in Yorkshire I’d love to be involved in this.

“They came back and said no but how about you start your own quilt in the North East.”

The Northern Echo: The quilts will be on display across the region.The quilts will be on display across the region. (Image: SMJ PHOTOGRAPHY)

Suzanne then reached out to Tracey Beadle, who lost both her children – Quinn and Dyllon – to suicide within 10 months.

The Northern Echo: Suzanne and Tracey in front of the quilt.Suzanne and Tracey in front of the quilt. (Image: DANIEL HORDON)

Tracey added: “I saw the Manchester quilt and how beautiful it was, and I’m always interested in doing anything I can to keep my children’s names alive.”

Quinn Beadle was 17 when she died in December 2018 after ending her own life in woodland not far from her home in Shildon, County Durham.

The Northern Echo: Tracey Beadle with her squares for children Dyllon and Quinn (L-R)Tracey Beadle with her squares for children Dyllon and Quinn (L-R) (Image: DANIEL HORDON)

Ten months later Dyllon tragically ended his own life aged 21. He was found at his university home in Manchester.

The Northern Echo: Dyllon and QuinnDyllon and Quinn (Image: FAMILY)

Samuel, Quinn and Dyllon are all remembered on the quilt.

Suzanne continued: “I think one of the legacies of this project is it has its roots in the community. We wanted to go out to the suicide bereaved community, bring them together and provide a forum for people.

“When you lost someone by suicide people are often afraid to say their name. They feel awkward, people avoid you – but actually we want to speak their name, we want to talk about our loved ones.”

The Northern Echo: Suzanne made a square for her son Samuel, who she lost when he was just 17.Suzanne made a square for her son Samuel, who she lost when he was just 17. (Image: DANIEL HORDON)

Also remembered is 17-year-old Christie Harnett, who died at a hospital under the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys (TEWV) NHS Trust on June 27, 2019. The trust admitted contributing to Christie’s death during a court hearing in September and will be sentenced next year.

The Northern Echo: A square for Christie created by friend Zoya.A square for Christie created by friend Zoya. (Image: DANIEL HORDON)

The Northern Echo: Christie HarnettChristie Harnett (Image: The Northern Echo)

18-year-old Emily Moore, who also died at a TEWV hospital, is also remembered in a square by dad David.

He said: “She was our only daughter and unfortunately now we don’t have a daughter.

The Northern Echo: Emily Moore.Emily Moore.

“It’s hurt us really really hard. I’ve thought about Emily every single day since she died and I’ll continue to do that.

“When you’re in a group of people who are in a very similar, if not the same situation as yourself it does bring comfort. As a group you seen to come together and support each other.”

The Northern Echo: Dad David told how Emily loved elephants, which inspired his design.Dad David told how Emily loved elephants, which inspired his design. (Image: DANIEL HORDON)

TEWV pleaded not guilty in relation to a charge of failing to provide safe care to Emily and the case will go to trial next year.

MP Liz Twist attended the unveiling. The Blaydon Labour MP used her maiden speech in the Commons after she was elected in 2017 to speak of her husband Charlie’s suicide in 2000.

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She told the Echo: “The quilt is amazing, it’s so good for people to be able to talk about the people they’ve lost.”

In that 2017 maiden Commons address she said: “All of us come to this House with not just a passion for politics, but a personal history that influences the issues we care about, and I want to share a little of mine.

The Northern Echo: MP Liz Twist laid a candle at the event.MP Liz Twist laid a candle at the event. (Image: SMJ PHOTOGRAPHY)

“Seventeen years ago, my husband, Charlie, ended his life by suicide.

“Many of you in this House will have been affected by suicide, but you only find out how many others have been affected when it happens to you.

“I do not ask for sympathy; I ask for your support for action to reduce the number of people who take their lives.”

Where the quilts can be seen

  • Newcastle City Library - until November 25
  • Wallsend Central Library - November 25 until January 2, 2024
  • Whitley Bay Library - January 2, 2024 until January 31, 2024
  • Newcastle Cathedral - February and March 2024
  • Gateshead College - April 2024
  • Gateshead Civic Centre - May 2024
  • Hebburn Central - June 2024
  • The Word, South Shields - July 2024
  • Sunderland Museum - August and September 2024

The quilts will then go on display in County Durham from October 2024.

If you are in need of support you can contact the following:

- Samaritans is available, day or night, 365 days of the year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at, or visit to find your nearest branch.

- If U Care Share on 0191 387 5661 or text IUCS to 85258

- SANE on 07984 967 708, Calm on 0800 58 58 58