Ride of Britain

22 year old Alex Staniforth has overcome anxiety, depression, low self-confidence, eating disorders, bullying, epilepsy and stammering to raise over £85,000 for charity. This year he was shortlisted from thousands of people in the Pride of Britain ITV regional Fundraiser of the Year category after winning the Granada region award.

Alex is certainly not one to shy away from challenges and this year saw him take on his biggest adventure of all in his quest to help improve young people’s mental health. The challenge involved walking, cycling, running and and even kayaking over 5,000 miles around the UK, climbing to the highest point of all 100 counties in 72 days - the fastest time ever recorded, for Young Minds UK.

After attending last month’s Pride of Britain Awards Alex told us “I owe a huge thank you to the local people who have been part of this journey and supported all of my fundraising so generously to help change lives.

Buoyed by the honour of the awards Alex decided to take on another epic challenge. He says “Attending the final was a huge privilege and being in the most inspiring room in Britain was an honour. After meeting the other award winners and after hearing their incredible stories I felt both humbled and inspired to do even more. This year I had raised just over £24,000 for Young Minds UK, the leading mental health charity for young people, and hitting £25,000 seemed an obvious target.”

So he decided to cycle from his home in Kelsall to Edinburgh for a #RideOfBritain charity challenge. Alex had hoped to complete the ride in 24 hours but the low weather conditions, -1 in some places, meant that the journey took 31 hours straight without sleep.

The ride was 309 miles, over 19,000ft of climbing and over 9,400 calories were burned along the way. The total raised for the charity now stands at an incredible £25,275.

Young Minds UK champion children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing across the UK. Driven by their experience they create change so that children and young people can cope with life’s adversities, find help when needed and succeed in life. With an estimated three children in every classroom experiencing a mental health problem their work is of vital importance.

Alex tells us “Mental illness has affected me personally but through my challenges I want to show others that these challenges don't need to stop us. Thank you to Pride of Britain for giving me the opportunity to make an even bigger difference.”

We think that Alex is incredible, if you want to help his fundraising efforts you can donate here:

www.justgiving.com/climbtheuk

Read more about Young Minds UK here www.youngminds.org.uk

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The Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards in partnership with TSB celebrate the achievements of truly remarkable people who make our world a better place.

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