One Man and his Bike

May 11 2022

White curve
Our supporters pursue extraordinary challenges for us. 23-year-old Connor Kelly is no exception, cycling from Paris to Istanbul in 50 days, raising a staggering £50,420.

Connor had just graduated from Edinburgh University when he decided to take on the challenge. He explains:

“For me, this was a year out of education, and also an opportunity for my own recovery. I struggle with depression and anxiety myself, and I’ve always safeguarded my own mental health by exercising – it helps me stay well.”

Of course, there’s exercise, and then there’s 50 days of cycling, travelling through France, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and, finally, Turkey!

Connor says: 

“It was really tough at points; sometimes I was pushing my bike up hills in the snow in minus five degrees.”

Yet, overall, Connor found it a hugely positive

“They were two of the clearest months I’ve ever had in my life. No panic attacks, no anxiety. The dark days obviously still came, but the exercise was just the most incredible way of mitigating those factors.”

Connor chose to raise money for the Trust because he has used our resources in the past. He says:

"Charlie’s story resonated with me a lot. I knew the Trust works to raise awareness around mental health, and I wanted to make sure I could support them in doing this.
“I’d also read the resources on their website
when I’d needed support and found them
hugely helpful. I found the advice really clear
in its message. My overall goal was just to
make sure the Trust can continue to do what
they do.”

Not only did Connor raise a huge amount, he also raised awareness of the Trust and mental health. He says:

“I told a lot of people why I was doing it, which I felt was really important. I’ve played rugby all my life and a lot of my friends are rugby lads.
“They might not admit it if they were having a tough time – so I think my message really shone through in terms of opening up a culture of speaking openly and making sure people know they don’t need to suffer in silence.”
CWT Team
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