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Local ‘fundraiser’ Ian Kidd returning to Newcastle after 1,800km odyssey

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It won’t be any surprise if self-confessed “avid fundraiser” Ian Kidd is a bit tired, slightly sore and sorry, when he returns home to the Hunter this week.

The big-hearted cyclist, and Hamilton Hawks Rugby Club Old Boy, will pedal into Newcastle – after undertaking 1,800 kilometres – about 12.30pm on Friday 19 April.

He’ll end his odyssey at the Lifeline Hunter office at 12 Maitland Road, Islington, where locals are expected to cheer him on as he completes Riding for Connection.

Earlier this month, Mr Kidd embarked on his solo crusade, travelling from the southernmost part of the Australian mainland in Victoria, Wilsons Promontory, to Newcastle along the East Coast.

Along the way, he was hoping to raise much-needed funds for his local Lifeline centre as well as create a greater awareness of mental health issues in the region.

“I realised this journey’s more than just a personal challenge,” he said.

“It’s a testament to the indomitable spirit within, a trek of redemption and revelation.”

For the past 20 years, Mr Kidd has navigated mental illness, which has seen him admitted to facilities a number of times.

“I ride not just for myself, but for those who continue to fight their battles in the shadows,” he explained.

“As I ride, I carry with me the collective support of those who believe in the power of resilience, in the triumph of the human spirit.

“Amid the chaos, one constant emerged as my beacon of hope: cycling.

“Pedalling through the winding roads became more than just a pastime; it evolved into a vital form of therapy, a lifeline tethering me to sanity.”

Riding for Connection aims to amass $10,000 for Lifeline Hunter in the hope of covering 256 crisis support calls, which cost the organisation $39 for every call answered.

Lifeline responds to more than one million calls annually, to its line 13 11 14, from people across the region – and nation – who are reaching out for assistance.

Donate to Lifeline in support of Mr Kidd’s journey at https://riding-for-connection.raiselysite.com/

If you need support, phone Lifeline’s 24/7 crisis support line on 13 11 14.

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