Website is up and sort of running!
One of my pre-trip priorities was to have a website built to aid my quest and with the venture itself. Thanks to Phil of www.weymouthwebdesign.com I now have a working website that once complete, will move to its own URL address. You can check it out at http://www.weymouthwebdesign.com/clients/icaruscycles/index.htm
In the trusts and grants section of this gapyear.com, Tom advices people undertaking a trip of this nature to contact their local MP etc for words of endorsement – my local MP Jim Knight was kind enough to lend some words of support that will no doubt lend credibility and raise the profile of what I’m trying to do –“I wish Stuart and Lloyd the very best of luck in their exciting and intrepid trip. I like to get out on my bike but I’ve yet to ride to the top of Portland, let alone 7000 km around SE Asia!
I am doubly impressed by the cause they are raising money for. All of us know, and will be close to, family and friends with mental illness – from stress and post-natal depression to bipolar disorder. Yet we are also scared to talk about it because of the stigma of “madness”. What Stuart and Lloyd are doing, alongside the charity Rethink, helps to break down that stigma and normalise these ordinary health problems. That in turn will make it easier for people to seek help earlier and recover sooner.
Good luck! “
Jim Knight MP
Minister of State for Schools
I’m working on getting a few more – if you are someone whose words my help then please feel free to express them!
This trip is not the only the medium in which I hope to raise awareness of mental illness and challenge the stigma surrounding it. I belong to a Speakers Bureau run by a charity called SHIFT. I have just been asked to be interviewed for a film for the NHS Choices website about stigma and discrimination regarding mental illness. This will be the first one I have done on camera and should be an experience. I still feel some shame around my own mental illness and speaking about it candidly and openly allows me to work through this shame. Martin Luther King famously said that “Our lives begin to end when we stay silent on the things that matter” and his words are always a source of inspiration.
I have also now got my bike sorted for the trip courtesy of one of Lloyd’s fellow Peace Corps Volunteer. Jeremy has just finished his own bike trip from Manila to Bangkok (4500km) and no longer has any need of the bike as he will have a brand new one upon his return to the US. I had hoped to be sponsored but this was a bargain and the bike will have more character!
So that’s that for now. Am working on getting more endorsements as well as a proposal to send to bodies that may help me raise funds for Rethink!
More updates to follow…