Leeds University students pedal to Prague for Samaritans

Forty students from Leeds University have begun a gruelling 700-mile cycle ride to Prague in support of Samaritans. They set off from the steps of the university’s Parkinson Building this morning and hope to make it to the Czech Republic’s capital in just 9 days’ time. 

The students have been in training since January and are hoping to make a colourful splash in their Team Samaritans shirts as they pedal across Europe, raising thousands of pounds to support Samaritans’ lifesaving work.

Student co-ordinator and cycling leader, Mike Lloyd, said:  “We’re delighted to be helping to raise the profile of the work Samaritans does in supporting people who need someone to listen to them, and at the same can raise some much needed money by asking people to sponsor us.  The decision to choose Samaritans was easy, and especially appropriate as the Leeds Branch of Samaritans is celebrating 50 years of service to our City.”

The cyclists were waved off by Leeds Samaritans volunteer, Bob Howe, who also volunteers as the charity’s Regional Marketing Officer for Yorkshire & Humberside:  “We are delighted to be represented by such a dedicated and enthusiastic team of athletes, and grateful to them for taking on this challenge on behalf of Samaritans nationally. We have a long-standing connection with Leeds University through the work of the student support service, Nightline, which offers peer support to students. As Samaritans, we’re here for anyone, including students, who may be going through a tough time. This incredible cycle ride will help promote awareness of our services as well as vital funds to ensure we can be there, anytime for free from any phone, on 116 123. Life is tough, and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, but talking is the first step to getting back on track.”

Samaritans relies almost entirely on donations to run its 201 branches and train more than 20,000 dedicated volunteers.  Your time or your money could save a life. If you would like to support the Leeds University students pedalling to Prague for us, you can sponsor any or all of them at: https://mydonate.bt.com/teams/pedaltoprague

You can also follow their progress via Samaritans on Twitter @samaritans or facebook www.facebook.com/samaritanscharity.

For further information, photos and interviews, please contact Samaritans’ press office on 020 8394 8300 or press@samaritans.org.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:

  • Anyone can contact Samaritans, you don’t have to be suicidal. Whatever you’re going through, call us free any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.
  • For a variety of ways to support Samaritans, go to:  www.samaritans.org/support-us
  • Find out more about volunteering for Samaritans at:  www.samaritans.org/volunteering.