My Highgate: Campaigner for anti-suicide measures at Archway Bridge slams Highgate’s ‘crazy property prices’

Mum-of-two Sarah Cope, 35, is a campaigner for suicide prevention measures at Archway Bridge in Hornsey Lane. She started the Hornsey Lane Bridge Anti-Suicide Campaign with Sue Hessel in 2010. She has lived in Summersby Road, Highgate, for 12 years.

What brought you to Highgate?

I moved to Highgate in 2001 because I liked the village feel and also the green spaces such as the Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Wood.

What is your favourite thing about the area?

I live right by Queen’s Wood and I love to be able to observe the gradual changing of the seasons whilst doing the washing up!


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How has Highgate changed since you moved into the area?

Highgate High Street has sadly deteriorated a lot since I moved here. There are far too many estate agents and not enough interesting, independent shops, restaurants and cafes.

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What is the area’s best kept secret?

The brilliant Quarters Cafe in Archway Road. Where else can you pick up a monmouth coffee and a 17th century sailor’s sea chest?

What would you change about Highgate?

I would make it a more affordable place to live for ordinary people. It’s a shame that such crazy property prices mean it’s a place that can only be enjoyed by the richest few.

If you were editor of the Ham&High for a day, what local issue would you champion?

I would champion the issue of getting better anti-suicide measures on the Hornsey Lane Bridge. In 2010, fantastic local campaigner Sue Hessel and I started a campaign to make this happen, and we’re still fighting! Three men have died in four months this year alone.

Where in the world would you twin with Highgate?

Portland, Oregon. The authorities there have just put anti-suicide measures on the Vista Bridge, and Haringey Council should follow their example with Hornsey Lane.

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

Marjorie Wallace, CBE, the chief executive of the charity SANE and a Highgate resident. She works tirelessly for people with mental health issues, and she supports our Hornsey Lane Bridge campaign.

What makes you smile on your way home?

All the people I run into who I know and like. We have a brilliant community here in Highgate, and my daughter attends Highgate Primary School, so I do know a lot of people!

How would you spend your perfect Sunday in Highgate?

Sunday lunch at the Red Lion and Sun with my husband, children and some friends, and then a stroll on the Heath. If it was summer time, I’d have a swim in the ladies’ pond, too.

What tips would you give to somebody moving to the area?

Win the lottery! And book Sunday lunch about a year in advance!

If you had to write your own epitaph what would it say?

She was a bit odd, but she tried her best.

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