A team from Wiltshire Council led by two of the authority’s corporate directors are preparing for a gruelling 130-mile sponsored bike ride around the county.
Also coming along for the ride in aid of mental health charity, Wiltshire MIND, is Chief Constable Kier Pritchard from Wiltshire Police.
The Bustard Ride on 21 June begins at County Hall, Trowbridge, and follows a scenic anti-clockwise route around all Wiltshire’s community areas. It takes in Warminster, Salisbury, Amesbury, Marlborough, Devizes, Malmesbury, Chippenham and Melksham, before arriving back at the start.
Corporate directors Terence Herbert and Dr Carlton Brand said: “There are lots of very good reasons why we’re so keen to tackle this challenge.
“Firstly, because it’s a great opportunity to raise some much-needed cash for a brilliant cause. Wiltshire MIND does an amazing job in campaigning to ensure that everyone experiencing a mental health problem can get the support and respect they deserve. It’s an organisation that is very close to all our hearts, and they need every penny they can get to continue their priceless work.
“Second, it provides a perfect incentive to visit all of our areas in just one day and see the wonders of Wiltshire.
“This is an idea that was suggested by our own staff and we’re delighted to rise to the challenge for such a great cause. We’d be grateful for any donations which we will know will really help Wiltshire MIND.
“Rather than setting any records, our focus is on completing what will be a gruelling nine or 10-hour challenge. So it’s no coincidence we’ve picked the longest day of the year to do it!”
Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: “This is such a worthwhile cause. The more everyone is aware of mental health issues the better and an opportunity like this – raising money as well as highlighting the good work of organisations like Wiltshire MIND – is invaluable.
“Wiltshire MIND is a fantastic charity providing vital support services to vulnerable people in our community, a much-needed service in this day and age, and I am delighted to be able to support them in this.
“Breaking the stigma surrounding mental health is vitally important. Together, through this cycle ride, I hope we can raise awareness of this issue and reassure people that it is okay to ask for help.”
Carolyn Beale, chief executive of Wiltshire MIND, said: “We are a small local charity working to support anyone with mental health issues in Wiltshire and this fundraising is very important to us.
“We are a self-funding charity, we do not receive funding from National Mind and are not commissioned to provide any services in Wiltshire. This means we welcome any contribution that helps us continue our much-needed work in Wiltshire.
“The very best of luck to the team!”