Revving up to welcome Samaritans’ motorcyclist

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As part of Samaritans’ annual awareness day 24:7, volunteers from Western Isles branch are preparing for the arrival of David Exley, a Samaritans volunteer, who is motorcycling around the UK and Ireland to raise awareness of the charity.

Covering more than 6,000 miles on his motorbike, David will visit each of the 201 Samaritans branches, highlighting the charity’s vital 24-hour service. Sixty four-year-old David is also completing the ride in memory of his brother Tim, and son James who both sadly died by suicide.

David kick-started his engine at Worthing Samaritans on Monday 2 July, and is on the road for seven weeks. His final pit stop will be in Cardiff, on 20 August, where he will be greeted by sponsors, Admiral insurance.

David Exley, said: “My younger brother Tim took his own life 24 years ago and tragically in 2007 my son James also ended his life. I really hope that my challenge will mean that more people will be aware of the support Samaritans offers, that way, some good can come out of what has been a very difficult time for me and my family. I am a bit nervous but am really looking forward to meeting my fellow Samaritans and celebrating the charity’s awareness day, 24:7 with them.”

Arriving at Western Isles branch on Tuesday 7th August, David will be welcomed by Alasdair Allan MSP and local Samaritans volunteers. A tea / coffee stall and entertainment is also planned in the town centre.

Angus MacLeod, chairman of Western Isles Samaritans said: “Our awareness day, 24:7, is the ideal way to raise awareness of Samaritans and David’s challenge will really help to highlight this, not only in the Western Isles but across the UK and Ireland. Samaritans is the only helpline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, offering support to anyone struggling to cope and can be contacted on 01851 703777 or 08457 909090. You can also email jo@samaritans.org”

The Western Isles Samaritans have been raising funds to buy new premises and will soon be moving to 87 Cromwell Street. The official opening is planned for Monday 10th September which is International Suicide Prevention Day and is also the start of Suicide Prevention and Awareness Week.

To donate to David’s quest to raise £10,000 for Samaritans visit:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/davidswayround