More than 130 cyclists will pedal 100 miles as part of Prudential RideLondon to raise money for Samaritans on Sunday 31 July

Pedal power is a capital way to raise money for Samaritans

Samaritans Executive Director of Communications, Policy and Campaigns, Paul McDonald, will be one of those saddling up on behalf of the charity and taking to the tarmac.

Paul McDonald said: “Suicide is an issue which has affected people close to me, and taking part in RideLondon will help raise funds and awareness of the service Samaritans provides. I am a trained Samaritans volunteer and I understand and value the help our volunteers provide for people who are struggling.

“As a keen cyclist living near the Surrey Hills, I am really looking forward to riding the route on the day.”

Amateurs and professionals follow the route out of London, through the Surrey Hills and back to finish on The Mall in central London.The annual race draws participants and spectators from all over the south-east and tourists visiting the UK too.

Samaritans is also delighted to announce that The Health Insurance Group, which has previously sponsored Samaritans running events including the London Marathon and the Great North Run (check), will be sponsoring Samaritans RideLondon team this year.

Brett Hill, Managing Director at The Health Insurance Group said: “As an organisation we are concerned with health and wellbeing in the workplace. According to the TUC, someone is taken ill by stress at work every two minutes, so it is vital that we find ways to prevent these problems and improve the mental health of our employees. Just having someone to talk to can make all the difference, as we know from the Employee Assistance Programme helpline services we provide to clients, which can reduce stress-related time taken off work by over 50 per cent.

“Exercise and physical health, such as cycling, can have a positive impact on mental health. Samaritans is an extraordinary organisation that we are delighted to continue our support for the fourth year.”

"We are delighted that The Health Insurance Group are sponsoring our Samaritans Team cycle jerseys for the first time, having previously sponsored our running vests for three years," says Emma Burgess, Samaritans Events Fundraiser. “Everyone has moments in their life where they struggle and for some, this can lead to feeling hopeless and losing sight of being able to work through their problems. Talking can really help people to see a way through and Samaritans is there to give people the time and space to do this."

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