Two businessmen, Darron Cavanagh, chief operating officer and Lee Newman, CEO, at security specialists VPS UK, are nearing the end of their five-day cycling marathon from London to their firm’s HQ in Manchester, aiming to raise much-needed funds to finance 50 Samaritans volunteers, and other mental health initiatives.

They set off from London on Sunday, and faced gale force winds, rain, a little sunshine, and a lot of aching limbs, but they have been well-supported by riders joining them for each day. They arrive in Manchester at around 1pm Thursday 27th, having cycled through the Peak District on their final leg.

To put the 360-mile distance into some context, on Tuesday they cycled 125km, 78miles, Norwich to Spalding – that is nine miles longer than the professionals will ride on the final stage of the Tour de France this year (from Chatou to the Champs Elysees).

In training for six months – including some gruelling 4am starts to fit in with work – they have so far raised over £32,000.

“We’re incredibly grateful for all the support we’ve received to date,” said Darron. “Lockdowns have been particularly tough for people’s mental health, so we decided on a bike ride to raise money for Samaritans and other campaigns to support mental health and wellbeing.”

Lee adds: “Being able to invest in a programme that helps people and raises awareness is really exciting. My wife Sophie is a Samaritan and the number of people that ring through to Samaritans every day is astonishing. There is a call every seven seconds. Anything we can do to help that organisation, and ultimately help the mental health of our nation, has to be a good thing.”

To support them reach the finishing line with whatever can be spared visit the JustGiving page for donations here  –


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