AFTER a four-day, 330km bike ride that started in Swan Hill, members of the Freemasons Cycling Club of Victoria triumphantly rode into Horsham on Wednesday afternoon.
The team of riders set off on their journey on Sunday to raise money for headspace Horsham and Swan Hill, while also raising awareness of youth mental health support.
Ride organiser Malcolm Mann said the journey had gone extremely well.
“We had a lot of support along the way; everywhere we went the townspeople and the schools thanked us for what we were doing for putting the message of mental health awareness out there,” he said.
“We don’t know the total of funds raised just yet, but we’re thinking it will be close to $5000. Freemasons Foundation haven’t told us how much they will chip in, but they often go dollar-for-dollar.
“We’d like to thank everyone for their support. We had a great welcome into town.”
The group made stops at Sea Lake, Hopetoun, Rainbow, Warracknabeal, Minyip and Murtoa along the way.
Hopetoun resident and club member said it was fantastic to be able to support his local community through the ride.
“Coming off the land, I can see where it all fits in. There are kids that are going to be struggling later on,” he said.
“It’s really difficult at the moment for a lot of farming families. To be able to deliver this message is something I’m very passionate about. I wish headspace was around when I was a kid.”
Headspace Horsham community development co-ordinator Louise Barnett said the organisation was deeply grateful for the group’s support.
“What the Freemasons have done is an amazing effort. Riding from Swan Hill to Horsham is an amazing feat,” she said.
“I joined them for the last three kilometres and was puffed out. These guys sacrificed time out of their lives to do this. This (donation) will be wonderful for the Wimmera region’s young people and will go a long way.”
Headspace provides mental health, physical health, work and study, and alcohol and other drug support services for people aged 12 to 25.
Its Horsham office is located at 77 Hamilton Street and can be reached on 5381 1543.