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Derbyshire Freemason Rides to Raise Money In Memoriam

mathew wainright
Matthew Wainright - Derbyshire Freemason

Following the tragic death of two of his close friends, Wilf and Jake, from suicide, Matthew Wainwright, a colleague from Wabtec Rail UK and Derbyshire Freemason, felt compelled to raise awareness about mental health by embarking on a charity bike ride. 

Mental health is something that Matthew Wainwright knows very well, having struggled with it himself in the past, and he understands the difficulties of dealing with such issues.

In memory of his departed friends, who took their lives around one year ago, he undertook a 520-mile bike ride during the month of October, nearly twice the distance of his initial goal of 200 miles.

Within Wabtec, Matthew works as an engineering technician and has decided to combine his battle with his passion for trains. He also wished to thank Wabtec for their support and the use of the EAP program. 
For this reason, most of his rides took place in the Peak District in the English countryside. Following in the tracks of many a steam locomotive of the past and using old railway line routes, which had some old but beautiful railway stations as stops along the way.

Two famous British steam locomotives, the Flying Scotsman and Mallard, were built in what is now the Wabtec Doncaster main works—both locomotives famed for setting high-speed records, one which still stands today.

He rode alone for most of the time, but his young son Jesse accompanied him on some parts of the journey. He also ensured that he had a stable place to sleep during the rides and prepared a bag of provisions due to severe floods in the area. He managed to cycle around Staffordshire and Derbyshire, on-road, off-road, and on a static trainer, even at the local pub, for extra donations when weather conditions did not allow him to ride outside!

“Sometimes it is glorious sunshine, others in torrential rain or freezing cold. In the face of adversity, I overcame all obstacles”, he said proudly, even suffering from joint pain and injury.  

To date, Mr. Wainwright has raised more than £2000 for two mental health charities, nearly double his initial goal. Proceeds from the collection go to two local associations – Campaign Against Living Miserably and MANUP who specifically act to give support to people afflicted by suicidal thoughts.

Please feel free to contribute to his charity challenge here.



views on the ride

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