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5th September 2016
A Frank Turner concert in Glasgow inspired Widnes, Ste Flynn, to set himself a 12 month, 3,650 mile cycle challenge to raise awareness and vital funds to help prevent young suicide.
Ahead of his schedule, he has completed the challenge in just nine months, and 127 bike rides later: a variety of rides, including distances ranging from 180 miles Coast to Coast route and several indoor circuits during the worst of winter weather.
“Back then I genuinely didn’t know if it was a realistic, achievable challenge or an impossible dream,” admits Ste. “Through awareness of the work of PAPYRUS, the national charity dedicated to preventing young suicides, I was shocked to learn that suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK.”
Ste’s brother, Ged, is PAPYRUS Chief Executive. “I am incredibly proud of my brother Ste cycling through hail, rain and snow, in and out of season, to promote the charity’s work. In the nine months of his challenge, over 1,000 young people across the UK will have ended their lives. This is a shocking statistic. Families and communities are devastated by these deaths. We need more and more people to do what our Ste has done: break through the taboo and talk about suicide among our young people. Raising awareness reduces the stigma. It may well save young lives.”
Admitting to feeling overweight at the outset, Ste says: “This now slimmer, fitter 44 year old has proved that, if you put your heart, soul and a bit of effort into something worthwhile, that sometimes, impossible dreams can become a reality.
“If just one person has been inspired to seek help as a result of this challenge, then the hours of effort, the minutes of back pain and the seconds of knee pain have been well worth it.”
Suicide is everyone’s business. We can all help to save young lives. If cycling is not your thing, join the national PAPYRUS HOPEWalk 2016 programme that takes place across the UK from Saturday 8th October to Sunday 16th October, around World Mental Health Day, Monday 10th.
The Widnes HOPEWalk – 10km around Widnes - takes place from 12 noon on Sunday 16th October. Call 01925 572 444 for more information.
If you are a young person struggling or someone worried about a young person you know, contact PAPYRUS HOPELineUK for confidential practical help and advice: tel 0800 068 41 41 text 07786 209 697 email firstname.lastname@example.org