When the country opened up (briefly!) last year, we were contacted by a family who had sadly lost their son, Patch, to suicide in 2019. Patch’s dad, Kit, and younger brother, Zak, decided to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats covering 1,155km in under 15 days in Patch’s memory. They selected PAYRUS to be one of the charities to benefit from this ambitious endeavour.
Called the 1551 Journey (as Zak was 15, and Kit 51), Kit said: “This was part of my 51st Birthday present from Zak – a way to honour and remember Patch and raise money for teenage mental health charities. This will be an incredible journey for us, both physically and emotionally and we hope that along the way we will start to find some peace.”
Kit and Zak were supported throughout their journey by friends and family, many of which joined in for a day or two; they were also joined and by strangers they met along the route.
As well as all the cycling, they found time to write a blog and diary of their epic journey, at times comical and at times quite emotional, as the journey undoubtedly was too.
Some of their observations and learnings that stand out along the way are:
- Rain in Devon and Somerset is as wet as Cornwall
- You should always breathe through your nose when near fields with cows… flies like cows
- Tea and Victoria sponge cake are a great pick-me-up
- There are a surprising number of sheep near Liverpool
- Surprise at the complete lack of deep-fried Mars bars in Scotland
“Plan your trip and adapt your plan – always look to the positives and most importantly break everything down into bite sized pieces.”
On arrival in John O’Groats, and having raised over £200,000, Kit said:
“This money will go a long way to support young adults and families during very challenging times and we know that PAPYRUS and Young Minds will be able to help more people because of your generosity. THANK YOU so much, it is incredibly humbling to see the support we have received from family, friends, colleagues, friends of friends and family and strangers along the way.”
The money raised for PAPYRUS will go towards expanding the HOPELINEUK team to ensure that we can continue to be there for young people and their families. As the family said: “We cannot change the past. But we can help shape the future.