On Sunday 23 August, four members of RAF 2 Group will be setting off from RAF Boulmer on a 630-mile Station to Station bike ride to highlight the importance of mental health across the Royal Air Force and to raise money for charity. Each with their own personal story of how mental health issues have impacted their lives and how exercise has helped them recover and be more resilient, WO Justin Wall, Wg Cdr Gerard Currie, Flt Lt Graham Ivison, and Gp Cpt Jason Davies will be raising money for the RAF Central Fund which supports the health and wellbeing of serving personnel through sport and physical activities, and mental health charity Mind. The challengers will also be raising awareness of mental health as they launch 2 Group’s Mental Health & Wellbeing Strategy.
Gp Capt Davies says, “Poor mental health is one of the biggest issues that impacts society today and we in Defence are not immune. Within the Royal Air Force we work for Number 2 Group and as a Group, we have been trying to improve in how we support our Whole Force through the development and release of a Group Mental Health & Wellbeing Strategy. To launch the Strategy and to increase Mental Health Awareness, four of us have chosen to tell our stories with respect to mental health and to support Mind and the RAF Central Fund by getting on our bikes and cycling around every RAF station that 2 Group supports. So that’s 630(ish) miles over 7 days, starting on Sunday 23 August.”
The quartet will begin their challenge at the northernmost 2 Group supported Station and cycle from RAF Boulmer 128 miles south to RAF Fylingdales in the North York Moors. The route then takes them to RAF Scampton (24 August) RAF Honington (25 August) RAF Henlow (26 August) RAF Northolt (26 August) RAF Odiham (27 August) RAF Swanwick (27 August), RAF Brize Norton (28 August) RAF Benson (29 August) and the group will finish at RAF High Wycombe on Saturday 29 August.
Two of the group’s members, WO Justin Wall and Wg Cdr Gerard Curries will be fundraising for the RAF Central Fund, while Flt Lt Graham Ivison and Gp Cpt Jason Davies will be fundraising for Mind.
WO Wall says, “I have chosen the RAF Central Fund as my charity to fundraise for to say thank you for their help and for everything they do to support mental health and wellbeing through sport.
“My main take away from my experience is poor mental health is not a weakness, it is an illness and illnesses can be treated if you ask for help. So, don’t be afraid to talk about it and ask for help if you need it.”
Already surpassing their initial £2,000 target, all four of the charity fundraisers would appreciate additional support either through donations via their Just Giving page (www.justgiving.com/team/Ride2Group) where you can read more about their personal stories, or in person if you are based at one of the Stations on their 630 mile journey.
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