Make Something Marvellous Fundraising Cycle Ride

| By Keiron Pim
Make Something Marvellous Fundraising Cycle Ride
A few months ago, Sarah Byrne couldn’t walk upstairs without getting puffed – but in October she and two friends completed a cycle ride all the way around Norfolk to raise money for Norfolk and Waveney Mind.

Between October 23rd and 26th, as the region experienced torrential rain and flooding, the trio rode the length of the county’s coastline and border to support our mental health services, in memory of Sarah’s son Peter.

“The distance was approximately 200 miles, with a few detours because of flooded roads,” she said. “It was as close as we could get to the whole of the Norfolk border, over three and a half days.

“We are all middle-aged and overweight and unfit and need exercise – I think that is why people parted with their money so easily!”

Sarah, who lives in Mattishall, knew she wanted to do something to help after Peter took his own life in September 2022, aged just 26. He had been seeking help for his depression but never received the treatment he needed. He was taken to A&E after the police found him and judged that he was at risk of self-harm, but the NHS’ mental health team released him, saying he was not at risk. Five days later, he died.

“When it came out in the inquest that there were enormous failings from the authorities who should have been responsible for Peter’s care, it was all so sad but Hayley Gerrard from Norfolk and Waveney Mind kept coming around and helping us,” said Sarah. The suicide bereavement counselling she received proved invaluable. After a time, she decided to channel her grief into helping others.

“I thought: ‘What is the point in sitting here moaning? I’m going to try to do something to make a difference.’ I wanted to support Norfolk and Waveney Mind because they seem to be the ones filling in all the gaps where the authorities are letting people slip through the net.”

She was also supported by her friend Michelle, and Peter’s close friend Mark, who tried to help him during his battle with depression. The team’s name, Make Something Marvellous Norfolk, derives from Michelle, Sarah and Mark’s initials. They all have a passion to help people who are experiencing poor mental health, and share Norfolk and Waveney Mind’s commitment to moving beyond raising awareness and focusing on taking action.

“Being aware of mental health and suicide is fantastic, but what if we have nowhere to send people when we are aware they are suicidal or poorly?” said Sarah. “We need to get to people before they reach that crisis point.

“Talking sometimes stops it temporarily, but we need to get to the root of the illness, and not keep putting sticky plasters over something much bigger. People need in-depth treatment and follow-up treatment.

“Peter used to say he felt like it was a cancer spreading through his body. Suicide is the biggest killer of people under the age of 35 in the UK. It’s a national emergency.”

So far they have received pledges totalling £2500, including £500 due to be donated by Sarah’s employer, Travel Chapter. “It’s a good start but we want to do more in future,” she says. “Next year we are going to do a bigger and better challenge, and it will be to raise money for Norfolk and Waveney Mind again. They help in so many ways with people who are ill. The practical help they give is immeasurable in Norfolk, and they reach areas that the NHS are not reaching.”

For now, though, Sarah and her teammates can take pride in having made something marvellous happen – they’ve got fit, honoured Peter’s memory and helped prevent similar tragedies occurring in future, while improving their own wellbeing.

“It actually really has helped our mental health as well as our physical health, and that is something I would like to raise awareness of: how great an effect exercise can have on your mental health.

“It was a real challenge in every sense, emotional and physical. We were ankle-deep in water at times. Peter was a gym fanatic and a boxer when he was younger, and he always used to tell me to get more exercise. He would be so proud of me if he knew.”

To support Norfolk and Waveney Mind by donating to Make Something Marvellous Norfolk, please see




Popular Posts


Head Office

50 Sale Road
Tel: 0300 330 5488

© 2023 Norfolk and Waveney Mind
We're a part of Mind
We're a registered charity (no. 1118449) and a registered company (no. 05729028) in England

Privacy & Cookies Policy
Powered by Empresa.
Designed by DACS Design & Print Consultancy