Portsmouth pals set to cycle 500 miles and scale Snowdon to raise awareness of mental health issues and male suicide

A PAIR of friends aim to scale a mental health mountain during a mammoth challenge to raise awareness of male suicide.

By Belinda Dickins
Sunday, 16th May 2021, 4:14 pm
Updated Sunday, 16th May 2021, 4:15 pm

A round trip of 560 miles to climb the highest mountain in Wales is the huge effort from Kyle Gray and Ashley Gorin, who hope to raise funds and awareness for Calm - The Campaign Against Living Miserably.

Kyle and Ashley, who work together as chefs at The Liquorist in Gunwharf Quays, have launched a social media campaign to help others ahead of their bicycle challenge to climb Snowdon.

Kyle, from Gosport, said: ‘We’re just trying to end the stigma that you need to be a man’s man or to man up. With what we have just been through with being locked in our houses due to Covid, everyone’s struggled with their mental health.

In February Kyle Gray, left, and Ash Gorin will be riding to North Wales, climbing Snowdon and riding back in aid of CALM, the suicide awareness charity. They are pictured near St George's Church, Portsea Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 160521-16)

‘We just want to raise awareness because it’s something that is overlooked by people. In this day and age, I don’t think anyone should be struggling on their own.’

Read More

Read More
Portsmouth woman to brave skydive to raise awareness of young suicide after frie...

The 32-year-old added: ‘This charity means a lot to me as I’ve been to the point where I didn't want to be here any more and that feeling was the worst in my life.

‘Even though I had people around me that wanted to help, it just didn't stop the thoughts I had so I know how many men out there feel like this, and it's a scary place to be.’

In February Kyle Gray, right, and Ash Gorin will be riding to North Wales, climbing Snowdon and riding back in aid of CALM, the suicide awareness charity. They are pictured near St George's Church, Portsea Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 160521-18)

In February 2022, the pair will set off for four days of cycling roughly 65 miles each day, before climbing the epic peak in winter conditions and then climbing back on their bikes to finish in Gunwharf.

They hope to create a banner which will feature the faces of people’s loved ones who have died by suicide, which they will proudly display at the top of Snowdon.

While at work the pair are used to being on their feet for 12 hours a day, they have also been taking on 50-mile training rides to get their bodies used to the feat ahead of them.

The cause is close to the heart of Ashley, who moved to Portsmouth from Jersey in 2017 and didn’t know anyone in the city.

This led to his own struggle with mental health, and at some points he felt like suicide may be the only option but got through the bad times with help from family and friends.

The 26-year-old said: ‘When I first moved to the UK in 2017 to study architecture at the University of Portsmouth I struggled greatly with feeling alone and not knowing who I could talk to, if I had known about CALM this would have helped me greatly with my personal issues.

‘We want to deconstruct the stigma that men are not allowed to talk about their feelings as this is why I think that 75 per cent of all suicides in the UK are male and this challenge represents that you can do anything you put your mind to.’

Their campaign spans various social media platforms including Facebook and TikTok, and they have set up their own website at cyclingagainstsuicide.com

Ashley and Kyle hope to raise £1,000 for Calm, and have already pulled in hundreds for the worthy cause. Visit gf.me/u/y6rk3k to donate.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article you can talk to your GP, phone 111 or text SHOUT to 85258.

Alternatively you can call the Samaritans on 116 123, email [email protected] or visit the website. There is also a list of local services available here.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to our online coverage, including Pompey, for 27p a day.