A Biddulph man cycled 625 miles in aid of mental health

  Posted: 30.06.20 at 10:47 by Jack Lenton

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As lockdown continued, many of us may have spent the month of June working from home, relaxing, or catching up on some sleep.

However, Biddulph's Simon Lester has been putting in hard miles on his exercise bike - 625 of them to be exact.

The 36-year-old local dad of two has been cycling or cross-training every day for a month in aid of mental health, with the goal of raising at least £500 for North Staffs Mind.

Starting on Tuesday, 2nd June, Simon completed 600 miles of the challenge on his exercise bike and did the remaining 25 miles on his cross trainer, and is completing the last leg of the trek today (Tuesday, 30th June).

On his JustGiving page, Simon explained that he decided to undertake the challenge after recovering from his own period of poor mental health.

He said: "In 2016 I realised I was beginning to have problems with my mental health, specifically anxiety. I put this down to pressures at work, becoming a parent, moving house, and studying - too much going on at once.

"I struggled on, telling myself I needed to man up and just focus on being the best I could be, and if something knocked me down I should get back up.

"Then in June 2017 there was a big knockdown - losing a close friend in an accident long before his time. It nearly flattened me but I got back up and pushed more. I began to take medication, and every time i could feel myself start to go, I got the dose raised and carried on.

"In November 2018 I could feel I was really struggling, and one morning I had to be dragged out of bed by my then two-year-old daughter and told "work Daddy".

"I managed to pick myself up one more time and went in, but that evening for no apparent reason I broke down in tears, and the next morning i was paralysed by anxiety - it was 10 weeks before I went back to a job I ultimately had to give up for the good of my mental health.

"I was only able to return because of the support of my family and friends and the support I was able to access. Sadly not everyone has access to the support I had, and that's where Mind come in.

"To help people in dark places when they need it they need funding! Please if you can sponsor me it would be amazing and go towards helping so many people."

Thanks to his efforts, Simon has also been nominated for an Our Heroes award in the Charity Champion category, with the results being announced in September.

At the time of writing, Simon has currently raised £475 on JustGiving, meaning he is only £25 away from his £500 target.

If you would like to donate, visit Simon's page here.

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