THE MP for North Shropshire, Owen Paterson, has announced a new suicide prevention charity in memory of his wife Rose.

The former Cabinet minister and his family announced the formation of the charity on Saturday, April 10 in memory of his wife, who took her own life last summer.

The Rose Paterson Trust will support organisations and individuals working to reduce the annual toll of suicides, which claimed nearly 6,000 lives in 2019, or roughly one suicide every 90 minutes in the UK.

Repeated lockdowns and economic downturn caused by the coronavirus have taken a toll on people’s mental health and suicide rates are likely to increase in the coming years.

Mr Paterson unveiled the new Trust at Aintree on the day of the Grand National. Rose had been chairman of Aintree for several years and was herself a keen and skilful horse rider.

She was remembered by Aintree Racecourse earlier this week with the Rose Paterson Randox Foxhunter’s Chase being named in her honour and run over the Grand National fences.

A plaque will be mounted on the back of the historic winners enclosure wall where Rose’s contribution as an Aintree legend will be recognised for ever along with many other famous Grand National names.

The Rose Paterson Trust website has gone live, with details being provided to allow organisations to express their interest in partnering with the Trust and/or apply for funding at a later date.

Mr Paterson said: “The months following Rose’s tragic death have been incredibly difficult.

"We have still not even begun to come to terms with her loss.

"In recent months I have been learning more about mental health and suicide prevention; I intend to become much more involved in this work from now on.

"To honour Rose’s memory, we have established The Rose Paterson Trust, a charity with one mission: to support organisations and individuals combatting the vast suicide epidemic."

The charity has three objectives:

  • Funding and conducting research in order to better understand suicide and its prevention.
  • Identifying the most effective suicide awareness, prevention and bereavement-oriented organisations, providing them with financial support and publicity.
  • Campaigning for national policy reforms that aid suicide prevention.

Mr Paterson added: "Suicide is catastrophic, both for the individual concerned but also for family and friends who live on afterwards.

"It is estimated that 135 people are seriously affected by each suicide.

"If we can help save just one family from the extreme anguish that we are going through, this initiative will have been worthwhile.”

To support the work of The Rose Paterson Trust, visit