Art teacher takes on 300-mile cycle challenge to raise funds for mental health charity Mind

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A HSDC art teacher will cycle 300 miles to help remove mental health stigma and stop the use of the phrase ‘man up’ ahead of World Mental Health Day next month.

Mental health awareness is the aim for a Havant and South Downs College (HSDC) art teacher on a mission to cycle 300 miles in September, ahead of World Mental Health Day on October 10.

A-level fine art lecturer, Mark Kellett, has taken up the challenge to raise awareness and funds for mental health charity Mind this month, with a particular focus on men’s mental health.

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Mark’s challenge is one of many across the country this September, as Mind is encouraging its supporters to cycle 300 miles – which is the equivalent of the distance from London to Amsterdam.

Mark Kellett prepares for his 300 mile cycle. Picture: Martyn BaldockMark Kellett prepares for his 300 mile cycle. Picture: Martyn Baldock
Mark Kellett prepares for his 300 mile cycle. Picture: Martyn Baldock

Mark, who is also a professional artist, said: ‘Talking from experience, I feel it’s important to remove the stigma and negativity surrounding phrases like “man up” for example. Not taking care of yourself and closing off from friends and family can have detrimental effects on your mental health.

‘Along with art and music, I have discovered over recent years that cycling has helped me find the space and time to lose myself and clear my head. So much so, I sold my car and I ride on average 22 miles a day to HSDC Havant from Fareham.

‘Come rain or shine I’ve pushed myself to do as many miles as possible this month and any donations would be gratefully received during these hard times!’

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Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem, campaigning to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

Ian O’Reilly, head of community and events fundraising at Mind, said: ‘It continues to be a challenging time and many of us will be feeling the impact of the cost of living crisis on our mental health and wellbeing, especially for those of us with existing mental health problems.

‘We are really grateful to Mark for choosing to support Mind and we wish him well. Every donation that Mind receives allows us to campaign to improve services and provide information and support.’

Visit to donate to Mark’s fundraising total.