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Community / From east to west for cycle fundraiser

Paul Riddell.

A SHETLAND man is planning to cycle across the breadth of the Scottish mainland – over some 450 kilometres – to raise money for charity.

Paul Riddell, who now lives in Inverurie, is supporting child mental health and adult dementia services.

The bike ride will take place on 3 and 4 June, with an aim to raise £10,000 in total.

Around one quarter has been achieved so far, including pledges from his work clients SaxaVord Spaceport and Peterhead Port Authority.

The challenge will kick off in Keith Inch before finishing up at the Ardnamurchan Lighthouse – via towns and villages like Turiff, Huntly and Glencoe.

The 50-year-old father of two said like many others, “my family has been affected in recent years by child mental ill-health and adult dementia”.

“At times, dealing with the consequences of these medical conditions is, frankly, extremely difficult,” he continued.

“One of my coping mechanisms is exercise, and cycling in particular.

“So I have decided to undertake the challenge of riding from the most easterly point in the Scottish mainland to the most westerly, on a 450 km route that takes in some of Scotland’s most amazing scenery.”

Riddell – who works in communication – will raise money for Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), which is part of the NHS, and Brain Health Scotland (BHS), which is hosted and supported by Alzheimer Scotland.

He also plans to make a short film about the challenge in the hope of inspiring others – “if not to take on a major charity fundraising effort then to get out and do some exercise”.

“It is incredibly beneficial for your physical and mental health, especially as you get older,” Riddell said.

“And, as I have found, you’ll be surprised what you can achieve.”

People can donate to the fundraiser here.