Epic cycle in dad’s memory

Grace Richardson and her dad, Mick Richardson.
Grace Richardson and her dad, Mick Richardson.
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A Leeds woman is to cycle from London to Paris in memory of her dad who died after a long-standing battle with depression.

Grace Richardson, 26, will be rasing money for mental health charity Mind and hopes people will support her efforts this Men’s Health Week, which concludes on Father’s Day.

She wants to undertake the challenge between September 8 and 12 but needs to raise most of the £1,200 sponsorship by July.

Grace, who is originally from Portsmouth, said: “I lost my wonderful, unconditionally supportive, caring and strong-willed dad in January last year, and of course it was absolutely devastating. He was first diagnosed with depression the year I was born, when he lost his own father, and struggled with it for 24 years on and off, particularly in the last few years of his life.

“I’m raising funds for Mind, a brilliant charity that offers advice and support to people who are struggling with any type of mental health issue, and to those who love them.”

According to the National Office of Statistics, there were 6,122 suicides in the UK in 2014, the highest rate being amongst men aged between 45 and 59 years old.

Grace, who plays roller derby with Leeds team Hot Wheel Roller Derby, said: “My dad was 58 when he died, and he’d struggled for half his life. It’s important to me to do what I can to help prevent other people having to experience the sort of heartbreak my family has felt since losing him.

“No one should feel stigmatised and ashamed to seek help or feel alone in their illness.”