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NHS trio Ride London for better mental wellbeing

9 Jan 2019

An amateur cycling trio from Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) take on the Prudential Ride London-Surrey challenge on 29 July 2018 – for better mental health.

The three are LPT managers Matthew Wakely (right) and Mike Ryan (left), with Ross Jackson, whose mum Ashley works for the Trust.

Together they will tackle the 100-miler, three weeks after braving soaring heat with a 113 mile cycling tour of nine LPT inpatient units across Leicestershire and Rutland to raise awareness of the causes they are supporting.

Ross and Mike, LPT’s resilience and security manager, are raising funds for the Stewart House Road to Recovery Appeal. This is a bid to raise money for a mini gym at LPT’s mental health rehabilitation unit in Narborough which provides inpatient care for adults with severe and enduring mental illness.

It’s a cause  close to Mike’s heart, as physical activity played a critical part in restoring his mental wellbeing after he broke his back in a devastating parachute fall – See Mike’s story*  below

Jayne Hill, acting team manager at Stewart House, comments:: “Stewart House is home to our patients for up to 15 months and we all want to ensure we provide the best care possible, supporting every aspect of their recovery. Physical activity can play such a big part in this.

“Currently there is no exercise equipment at the unit and the Road to Recovery appeal aims to provide a few key pieces of equipment that will make a huge difference – a recumbent exercise bike, a multi-gym, some resistance bands and exercise mats.”

Matthew is manager of LPT’s mental health access team which is based at the Bradgate Unit in Leicester. After tackling the Ride London challenge in 2017, he returns this year to raise awareness of RUOK?  The multi-agency partnership campaign promotes positive mental wellbeing by encouraging individuals to support those around them by asking them “Are you OK?” and taking time to listen.

You can support Mike and Ross online at


Mike’s story

Mike Ryan was serving in 5 Airborne Brigade, based in Aldershot in1998 when his life was shattered by a devastating parachute accident in Poland.

He explains: “It was the first time the British Army had parachuted into Poland since World War Two and I crashed onto the tarmac runway with another parachutist, breaking my back in two places along with my pelvis and lower leg.

 “I was off work for eight months. My injuries were physical but the impact on my mental wellbeing was also huge. I felt tired, low and started to find it hard to motivate myself to do the smallest of things. I was frustrated at the time it was taking to get back to full fitness.

“I went to a rehab unit in Aldershot and asked to start some physical rehabilitation and quickly felt a change in my sense of wellbeing. I was back among like-minded people who were also going through physical rehabilitation, I felt motivated and supported.

“That’s why, when I heard about the Road to Recovery Appeal I knew this was a cause I wanted to support. I went over to the unit and talked to the staff and some of the patients and that’s spurred me on.

“Physical activity brightened my day when I was at my lowest ebb and I am sure it will do the same for our patients at Stewart House. I am really keen to do more to help them achieve their goal.”­­­