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Community / Mental health fundraiser to visit isles on 10,000km cycle challenge

Dan Beaumont.

A FUNDRAISER who is cycling 10,000km around the UK in aid of mental health is expected to visit Shetland next week.

Dan Beaumont is fundraising for Mind Over Mountains by undertaking a figure-of-eight cycle tour of the country.

The challenge, which has so far raised over £3,000, should take around four months.

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He will also be documenting people he meets on his trip with the aim of publishing a book.

Dan is cycling between May and September, with not much more than a tent and cooking equipment on his back.

He is wild camping, as well as staying with friends or taking up offers of accommodation from locals.

The 30-year-old, who is originally from Cumbria, is around 2,900km into his journey and he expects to spend around a week in Shetland.

He said he is fundraising for a mental health charity because “whether addiction, anxiety, depression or abuse, my family, my close friends and myself have all struggled with mental health in some way or another”.

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“I know that my circle is not alone and that everyone, no matter what circumstances they grew up in, can relate personally to some kind of mental health challenge,” Beaumont said.

“I wholeheartedly believe in the healing power of nature for improving mental well-being and want to help people who are struggling with their own challenges.

“It’s clear that Covid-19 and the isolation that ensued as a result of lockdowns and limited access to the outdoors has only exacerbated mental health issues.

“That’s where the brilliant charity Mind Over Mountains come in to help. They believe that nature and the great outdoors heal and are living the philosophy I deeply believe in. They help people struggling with mental challenges through life changing therapeutic outdoor experiences.”

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Dan is a founder of worldwide hospitality network Podstel, and he said that “running a business in my 20s was rewarding but incredibly stressful”.

“So I promised myself time-out to embark on a once in a lifetime journey – cycling 10,000km across the UK to explore, meet people, and rediscover the country with new eyes before starting a new chapter in life.”

Dan is keen to experience Shetland to its fullest and has already reached out to locals to ask for recommendations on places to visit.

He is also keen to speak to locals and even ride alongside any Shetland bicycle enthusiasts.

Contact details can be found here.

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