Duffield cyclist sets off on 1,066 mile LEJOG ride for Derbyshire Mind

Duffield resident Ryan Cooper is cycling 1,066 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats to raise money for mental health charity Derbyshire Mind, with support from mum Monica and brother Gavin.
Duffield resident Ryan Cooper is cycling 1,066 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats to raise money for mental health charity Derbyshire Mind, with support from mum Monica and brother Gavin.

A cyclist from Duffield has set out on a 1,066 mile ride across the country to raise money for a mental health charity and its Derbyshire walking project.

Ryan Cooper, 38, began the journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats on Monday, July 30, in an effort to raise £1 for every mile he clocks up over the next 11 days for Derbyshire Mind.

He said: “I wanted to do something to really challenge myself both physically and mentally. It will be tough, but if I can complete the distance it will be a personal achievement, as well as raising money for a good cause.”

“I will be cycling for up to 10 hours a day, passing through some of the most scenic countryside Britain has to offer, including iconic bridge crossings, mountain passes and historic locations along the way.”

Ryan, who works for a fruit and vegetable delivery service, will be joined on the road by a support car driven by mum Monica and brother Gavin, a trustee of the charity.

The challenge is specifically raising money for Enjoying Derbyshire, a programme of guided walks and physical activities for people recovering from, living with or affected by mental ill health.

Ryan said: “Mental health is important to me, and I have family members that have suffered with mental health problems.

“One in four people will experience a mental health problem each year, and yet there is still a stigma surrounding mental health.”

He added: “Derbyshire Mind is a local charity, committed to increasing public understanding of mental health issues and making it possible for people with mental health problems to voice their opinions.”

Mind spokesman Sinead Dalton said: “Enjoying Derbyshire is an exciting opportunity and one we hope will demonstrate to fundraisers how together we can make a real difference to people’s lives.

“We are grateful to Ryan, and all our fundraisers, for their outstanding achievements.”

To sponsor Ryan’s ride, visit www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/teamrychallenge.