Esme H

Esme's Cycling Europe and Asia for Body & Soul

Fundraising for BODY & SOUL
£7,178
raised
by 224 supporters
Pedalling for mental health
BODY & SOUL

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1060062
We help children, young people and families to overcome childhood adversity and trauma

Story

I am cycling from England to Singapore, undoubtedly the hardest thing I have ever done, for charity. Body & Soul helped me rebuild my life when I hit rock bottom. They changed my life, and the lives of my whole cohort. Some might even argue they saved our lives. Either way, I am incredibly thankful, and I would love to support their invaluable work to continue. Describing the You Are Not Alone program as specialised therapy is far too narrow, they have thought of everything someone recovering from crisis could need and incorporated it into the community. Although many of us are referred by the NHS, Body & Soul are a charity and provide all of this at no cost to the individuals who need it.

Whatever you can give will go a long way - it will help Body & Soul to support someone when they need it most, and it will help power me up the next uphill, mental or physical. I am incredibly grateful for all support.

My experience with Body & Soul

Two years ago I was in a very dark place. Tuesday 1st March 2022, I attempted to take my own life.

It’s been a bumpy road to recovery, but I am incredibly thankful to everyone who has supported me. While my friends and family have been absolute rocks in my life, it is the incredible work of the charity Body & Soul which I want to highlight here. Their 6 month programme, You Are Not Alone (YANA) lifted me from a very dark place to a much lighter one. This intense program of Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) was designed for “people just like me” but I wasn’t convinced. I had misplaced preconceptions of group therapy, I felt out of place, I thought it was cultish, and above all I didn’t believe it would work. But, I was desperate. I was desperate for something, something that would make it manageable to carry on. With their support, I have built a “life worth living”, I have goals and ambitions, and I have a hopeful outlook on life once more. Two years ago, I never thought I could recover to this point.

The therapists, volunteers and rest of the community are building something really special. They go above and beyond: financial aid for those who struggle to pay for transport to sessions, volunteers watching the little ones of those with caring responsibilities, a nutritious meal to bring us all together, a helpline to provide support between sessions and so much more. The support didn’t end with YANA; for me, there was a follow on program to consolidate skills and for my sister, as someone who helped me navigate this difficult time, there’s another.

Of course, the road to recovery isn’t straight, there are uphills and downhills, but I’ve now got the confidence to get through them. I’m sure you can draw some parallels between this and my ride.

For those this story feels close to, please speak up and chase the help you need. Quite literally, you are not alone. You can make it through. Aside from the standard list of resources, my messages are always open.

Body & Soul's wider work

I have focused on my own experiences at Body&Soul but this is just one snapshot of their work. Their ethos “transforming trauma with love” encapsulates their scope, with other programs for foster families, those impacted by HIV and more. I have chosen to fundraise for the whole charity, to trust them with the flexibility to allocate as needed. Each program is just as worthy.

My challenge

In March, I shall begin cycling from the village where I grew up in Somerset across Europe and into Asia. I have my eyes set on a 20,000km route to Singapore - the furthest point connected on land from the English channel (pending unstable border crossings). I will be pedalling through the end of the snow in the Alps, over the Tien Shan Mountain Range, through the Chinese desert and among the Malaysian rainforest. Some roads won’t be paved and some days I won’t see any civilisation. It’ll just be me, my bike, a few bags, a big ambition and a lot of pedal power. I am both incredibly excited and incredibly nervous!

Got questions?

Great, donating gives you the perfect place to ask. Just put them in the “message” box 😉 thanks in advance!!

A few ways to follow the journey

Strava - https://www.strava.com/athletes/29424784

Insta - @exploring.on.two.wheels

Blog - exploringontwowheels.com (not yet constructed)

About the charity

BODY & SOUL

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1060062
Body & Soul support children, young people, and families whose lives have been devastated by childhood adversity. We provide a safe and non-judgemental space and an array of therapeutic services to help members rediscover their identity, purpose, and strengths, free from the trauma of their past.

Donation summary

Total raised
£7,177.91
+ £1,478.00 Gift Aid
Online donations
£7,177.91
Offline donations
£0.00

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