April 1, 2022

our ride for mental health in 2022

Written by Sophie

Peninsula Hot Springs has once again supported mental health and the importance of personal well-being by hosting Ride for Relief 2022. The cycling event has so far raised over $145,000 for partner and beneficiary, not-for-profit mental health community, Mentis Assist.

Ride for Relief 2022 faced many challenges to reach its mission. COVID-19 and lockdowns in Victoria forced the organisers to make the tough decision to postpone the 2021 event to March 2022.

On the 22nd of March, a team of 20 dedicated cyclists and 13 support crew set off on a 6-day ride from Mallacoota in far East Gippsland to raise both money and awareness for mental health, wellness and, suicide prevention. The 20 cyclists were joined by a further 29 one-day riders on Sunday March 27 2022.

Ride for Relief 2022 is the 4th edition of this annual cycling event for mental health. It was proudly presented by NAB, the Platinum partner, and was supported by 18 other generous local businesses – Giant Bicycle and HP&CP Australia as the Gold partners, Seachange Property, Solution One + Lenovo, and Dolphin Fencing as the Silver partners, Mitsubishi Motors Australia, Mornington Mitsubishi, Searoad Ferries, Ashfords, Woolworths, iBuild Group, Eziway, Key Choice Group, Blue Peter Motors, Plaster Pro Interiors, Marco Luccio, Avis Frankston, and Swell Building Group as the Bronze partners.

Without this generous support both in cash and in kind, the event couldn’t have delivered this successful outcome.

An indispensable role was played by the volunteers who dedicated their time and followed the pelotons in the support vehicles just to make sure the riders were safe on the roads.The support crew also kept the participating cyclists hydrated and sustained with enough energy and nutrition to get to the finish line. A volunteer team of 11 members and 2 masseurs spent the week with the 6-day tour group of Ride for Relief 2022, and another team of 18 volunteers in 5 support vehicles helped the 1-day riders.

A big thank you also goes to all the event riders for taking part in this community event in support of mental health, despite the remaining menaces of COVID-19 and especially for exceeding the fundraising targets.

The Ride for Relief event was launched in 2018, however, this year for the first time the event traversed Eastern Victoria over six days covering over 800 kilometres. Starting in Mallacoota, the team rode to Marlo then Metung, Traralgon and Phillip Island, before finishing on the Mornington Peninsula.

On the sixth and final day, Ride for Relief 2022 cyclists were joined by other riders on a one-day tour around the Peninsula. After reaching the top of Arthurs Seat, the riders deserved a refreshing morning tea which was kindly prepared and donated by Arthurs Seat Eagle café. The groups enjoyed a variety of refreshments and freshly brewed coffee, then continued pedalling onto Red Hill and Flinders before returning to Peninsula Hot Springs for a well-earned lunch and a recovery bath in the soothing geothermal mineral waters.

Mentis Assist is a Mornington Peninsula-based not-for-profit mental health organisation that provides specialised support for people living with a diagnosed mental illness. With the funds raised through this significant event, Mentis Assist will be able to establish a specialist program that will highlight the efforts of Ride for Relief 2022 and its previous editions. The funds will allow them to employ experienced staff who will deliver needed services and purchase additional equipment that will help their clients achieve their personal well-being goals; one of the most important of which is to reconnect with their loved ones and the community so that they can live their best lives.

Below is an example of how the funds have helped their clients

A young single mother who had been through domestic violence with drug use, lost custody to her son which caused the son to be placed in foster care. Wanting to get her son back, she worked extremely hard with services to turn her life back around.

The client has now been completely drug free for approximately 6 months, has regained custody of her son and discharged her from their service.

The client wanted to better her life with a good ongoing career and had begun an online course that she was desperately trying to complete using only her phone (with a broken screen).

The client struggled but refused to ask for help. Ride for Relief funds were used to purchase a laptop to allow her to complete her course online. She has now completed a large portion of the course with excellent marks, due to this funding.

This small token of help from Mentis Assist and Ride for Relief has assisted a young single mother desperately working to better herself, to completely change the direction of both her and her son’s life for the foreseeable future.

Mental health and well-being success stories like these are what fuel Ride for Relief 2022 and its future editions.

The Ride for Relief event was established by Charles and Yuki Davidson who created the event to honour Charles’ brother, long-time business partner and co-founder of Peninsula Hot Springs, Richard Davidson, who lost his life to suicide in 2015.

Charles said the tragedy of his brother’s suicide was the driving force behind his push to improve mental health support and awareness in the community.

“With wellness at the heart of everything we do at Peninsula Hot Springs, Richard’s passing drove our focus towards supporting community physical and mental health, and to identifying how we can all contribute to helping those in need,” Charles said. “The desire of everyone involved with our businesses and the ride is to help build a strong and resilient community.”

“Mentis Assist is pleased to partner with Peninsula Hot Springs in this unique event. Events like Ride for Relief not only raise much-needed funds, but also provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the prevalence of mental health issues in our community and the services that are available to those in need”, said Terry Parioportas, Mentis Assist.

“We thank Peninsula Hot Springs for their ongoing support, everyone who helped organise the event, and of course all of the participants.”

One of Ride for Relief 2022’s 6-day tour riders, Geoff Oxford, said that the event “is a fantastic community initiative designed to raise awareness about mental health. You become fitter and healthier while at the same time break down the stigma and silence around mental illness. What’s more is that you feel part of a team committed to a common cause!”*

Following the 6-day tour’s long ride from Marlo to Metung on the 23rd of March, the Ride for Relief cycling team enjoyed a preview, pre-opening bathing experience at the soon to open Metung Hot Springs.

On Day 5, the cycling team also visited the future development site of Phillip Island Hot Springs.

The journey will continue to Ride for Relief 2023 and the event details will be announced shortly.

For more information on Ride for Relief 2022, and how the event has helped spotlight mental health we invite you to follow this link.

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