North Essex: It was ‘instinct’ says mother who helped to rescue young woman
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A mother who helped to rescue a young woman from the edge of a bridge says it was ‘instinct’ to get involved.
Maggie Harrison rang the police before going to talk to the woman. She and another man had to grab her to prevent her from falling and, when officers, arrived, they helped to pull the woman back to safety.
Now she has been Commended by Essex Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrison for her brave actions.
Maggie and her daughter Savanna were out walking their dogs in north Essex on 23 March 2021 when they came across the woman standing in a precarious position on the bridge over a busy road.
“We were the first people to see her. I thought ‘she’s standing the wrong way, she shouldn’t be on that side of the bridge’. “We phoned the police and then went to talk to her for what seemed like a long time but was probably just five or ten minutes. She was terribly upset. “I was reassuring her and saying whatever was wrong could be fixed and that, because of the pandemic, things were really, really hard at the moment. “Then a lorry driver who’d also spotted her ran up. He helped me to grab her and shortly afterwards the police arrived. They were brilliant. “We stayed and were hugging her and telling her that she would be alright, that things would be OK. “My daughter is of a similar age so, for me, it was just an instinct to try to help a young girl, as any mother would. “You just do what you’ve got to do to help.”
Commending Maggie for her courage, selflessness and quick-thinking actions which undoubtedly saved the woman’s life, Mr Harrington says:
“I often say the police are the public and the public are the police. The police are citizens in uniform who help people and keep them safe. “Many people would have stood back but Mrs Harrison brought out the essence of British policing when she got involved and I thank her sincerely for her extremely brave actions. “She stepped up with great courage and placed herself in danger to prevent the woman from jumping. In doing so, she spared the woman’s family and friends from potential devastation and trauma.”
If you need someone to talk to
If you need someone to talk to, you can ring the Samaritans free from any phone and confidentially on 116 123, email [email protected] or visit the charity’s website at www.samaritans.org
Suicide awareness training
Mid and South Essex NHS Integrated Care Board also provides online suicide awareness training which will help you to identify the signs of when someone might be having suicidal thoughts and to feel comfortable speaking about suicide in a supportive manner: