TRIBUTES will be paid to a campaigner at vigils in two town centres marking World Suicide Awareness Day next Friday.

Darwen’s Tony Harrison worked tirelessly to raise understanding of the issue since his daughter Vicky took her own life in 2010, aged 21.

Now Blackburn with Darwen Council will pay tribute to the work of the retired civil engineer who died of lung cancer earlier this year.

He will be remembered at vigils in Blackburn and Darwen town centres including 40 second silences for those who have taken their own lives.

Mr Harrison was a trustee of PAPYRUS, the national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide, a co-founder of Care Network, and a member of the Blackburn with Darwen Suicide Prevention Strategy Group. A tribute will be paid at each to go with the 40 second’s silence - a concept he developed in 2018.

Speaking at the time Mr Harrison said: “Most periods of silence last one or two minutes.

“This seemed a perfect opportunity to not only remember all those lost to suicide, but to highlight the horrifying statistic that every 40 seconds someone, somewhere around the world dies by suicide.”

Nathan Haworth, Vicky’s fiancé, said: “After Vicky passed away, Tony became a father figure, and I became like a son to him. Tony never judged, he just listened.

“A part of Tony died the day that Vicky did.

“He lived his life with the time he had left, longing for the day they would reunite – but until that time came, he focused fully on song writing and the prevention and awareness of suicide.

“The hole that was created by Vicky’s death became filled with his work to raise awareness of suicide and opening channels to talk about it. I think Vicky would be proud of him.”

In a February 2017 interview with the Lancashire Telegraph, Mr Harrison said: “It’s still a taboo subject and we need to take the stigma away. This is a battle which I’ll wage until my last breath.”

Mr Haworth plans to continue the annual Walk With An Angel event.

Mr Harrison’s sister Jean Dunston said: “He was heartbroken when Vicky died. He really did campaign for the cause until his last breath, but now he is walking with his angel.”

This year’s events will begin at 10am with a multi-faith vigil outside Blackburn Town Hall. At 10.30am, there will be a candle-lit procession around the town centre before a second vigil in Darwen Town Hall Square at 12.30pm.