Epic motorcycle ride across UK for charity

David Exley at the start of his epic trip
David Exley at the start of his epic trip

A Storrington man is riding a motorbike more than 6,000 miles visiting all 201 branches of Samaritans aiming to raise £10,000 for the charity.

During a seven-week whistle-stop tour, David Exley, 64, aims to raise awareness of the charity’s invaluable service and generate some much-needed funds for them.

The ride is in memory of his brother Tim, and son James, who both sadly died by suicide.

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

He 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.”

David, who is a member of the Worthing branch of Samaritans, added: “I was made redundant from a 35 year career in banking in 2005.

“At that time one item on my ‘bucket list’ was to learn to ride a motorbike. Now I both ride and tour on my bike regularly.”

He is being sponsored in fuel by Chanctonbury Lions Club on his epic journey across the UK. The club has urged people to support David in this worthwhile cause by visiting:http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/davidswayround

Club officer Phil Abbott said: “ We are delighted to be able to be able to help David raise the maximum possible for the Samaritans by taking care of his fuel costs for this epic charity motorcycle ride.”