On the 5th of April, a local man from Raymond Terrace, Ian Kidd, will embark on a 1,800km solo bike ride from the southernmost part of Australia in Victoria to Newcastle along the East coast of Australia. He aims to raise much-needed funds for his local Lifeline Centre and create a greater awareness of mental health issues in the Hunter.

Mr Kidd said "As I embark on this journey I realise it's more than just a personal challenge. It's a testament to the indomitable spirit within, a journey of redemption and revelation" said Kidd.

For the past 20 years, Ian has navigated mental illness, which has seen him admitted to mental health facilities a number of times.

"I ride not just for myself, but for those who continue to fight their battles in the shadows. As I ride, I carry with me the collective support of those who believe in the power of resilience, in the triumph of the human spirit"

"Amidst the chaos, one constant emerged as my beacon of hope: cycling. Pedalling through the winding roads became more than just a pastime; it evolved into a vital form of therapy, a lifeline tethering me to sanity" Kidd said.

Riding for connection is aiming to raise $10,000 for Lifeline Hunter in the hope of covering the cost of 256 crisis support calls, which cost Lifeline $39 for every call answered. Lifeline answers over 1 million calls a year to the crisis support line 13 11 14, from people across Australia reaching our for support during personal crisis.

Donate to Lifeline in support of Ian's journey at https://riding-for-connection.raiselysite.com/

Ian expects to ride into to Newcastle on the 19th April. Follow his story as he prepares for his ride https:/ /www.facebook.com/ian.kidd.10888