An organisation that works to prevent suicide among men is set to benefit after one of their supporters succeeded in driving 500 miles around the wild and wuthering north coast of Scotland in a £500 old banger.
Chrysalis Prevention of Mens Suicide is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation which offers help and support to vulnerable male adults who are suffering with their mental health and participating in the Rustbox Rallies North Coast 500 challenge was the brainchild of one of their supporters, Danny Lydiate, a 49-year-old logistics operative from Thorpe Willoughby. He said: “As a long term sufferer of a mental health illness I have been through my fair share of storms and tried to take my own life on two occasions. “Recently, I came across an event on social media called the Rustbox Rallies NC500 in Scotland. I immediately thought what a great way to raise awareness and funds for the charity by having companies sponsor the vehicle which has to cost less than £500 and set up a Just Giving page too.”
Danny entered a 20-year-old Peugeot 406 for the challenge and completed the course on Saturday, March 11, having driven the whole route either in falling or lying snow. He said: “Weather conditions on Friday were a bit sketchy, with a lot of snow, but by Saturday it was bright and clear. The scenery was totally memorable, especially the views from the Bealach Na Ba, across to Skye and across Kintail to the Five Sisters. It’s not somewhere I’ve ever been before, but I’ll definitely be coming back. The entrants met up in Fort William on Wednesday March 8, where they stayed overnight, before driving in convoy to Inverness the next morning, for the official start, heading north for an overnight stop in Thurso. Friday saw them heading across the north coast, then dropping down to Ullapool and another overnighter. The final day took them down through the north west highlands to the visually stunning but infamously intimidating Bealach Na Ba. They then turned east along Glen Shiel to head back to Inverness and the finish. To be eligible for the prizes in the event, cars must have either been bought for £500 or less or be over 30-years-old. Danny and his co-pilot raised £450 in commercial sponsorship for the car and have so far raised £369 in public donations towards their JustGiving target of £650. Donations can be made through the Chrysalis website www.chrysalispreventionofmenssuicide.co.uk or through the JustGiving page link on the Chrysalis Facebook page.
Chrysalis car at the top of a snowy Bealach Na Ba. (16-03-165 SU)