Paul and Claire Goulden from Whelley in Wigan were taking their two children, Neve was six and Daniel was three years old , to Haigh Hall for a walk around the park.
As the Goulden family approached the park entrance they noticed a number of police vans and officers in the area. Claire asked the officers what was happening because she didn’t want her children to see anything upsetting. They were informed that they were searching for a young woman whose welfare they were concerned about. Then asked them to let them know if they saw anything while on their walk.
After about half an hour of walking Claire noticed a young woman on her own in the distance. They stopped and Claire watched the woman from a distance to check she was okay.
Claire said: “I had a horrible feeling that the girl was going to harm herself. I called the police to inform them that we had spotted her and we were worried she was going to hurt herself.
“I then saw her tie a scarf around her neck. I shouted to my husband to get over there and do something. Paul ran over and by the time he got to her she was hanging from the tree. He lifted her up, the scarf became loose and they both fell to the floor.”
Claire called the police as they were quite a distance from the entrance of the hall where they had seen the officers. Paul began talking to the woman to calm her down and started to walk with her towards his family and together they walked to the police.
Paul said: “The whole thing was just so unexpected – one minute you are there on a nice walk with your family and the next minute we are trying to save this poor woman from taking her own life.
“I am pleased that Claire noticed her as she was in such a secluded area, there was a chance she could have hanged herself and not be found for some time. I guess it is a matter of being in the right place at the right time.”
They were presented with the Chief Constable’s Citizens Commendation for their act of bravery at a ceremony at GMP’s Hough End Complex.