A COUPLE are cycling 2,500 miles to raise awareness for a serious mental health illness.

Jude and Simon Hill, witnessed postpartum psychosis first-hand when their daughter Emily was afflicted by the condition after the birth of her daughter in 2018.

Postpartum psychosis, or PP, is a severe mental illness which begins suddenly following childbirth. Symptoms include hallucinations and delusions, often coupled with depression, confusion and mania. The condition affects between 1 and 2 in every 1,000 UK mothers.

The couple, who had previously been based in Beaminster before moving to their current home in Winsham, will be riding from Lands End to John O’Groats, travelling to one of the UK’s most southerly points right up to the very north of the country. They are partaking in the challenge to raise funds for Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP), a national charity dedicated to those affected by PP.

They will mostly be following national cycle routes to cover the 2500 miles, camping whenever possible to minimise the risk of contracting coronavirus.

Mrs Hill said: “Our first point of call is to raise awareness of PP. When our daughter suffered from it, we had never heard of it. We did some research and found out more about it.

“APP is only a small charity and they’re doing a great job support mentoring and doing work with healthcare professionals to increase awareness and support those who suffer with the condition.”

Mr and Mrs Hill originally planned to take their challenge across the pond, cycling from Seattle down to Orlando in a journey which would have taken would have covered roughly 4,000 miles. Unfortunately, these plans had to be scrapped due to the pandemic.

Mr Hill said: “What is important to remember is that the challenge we’re doing is nothing compared to a mother who is suffering through PP, 1400 mothers a year go through what is a very frightening experience.

When we’re struggling on our ride, thinking we’re tired or don’t like the rain it’s nothing compared to what these women suffer through.”

You can follow the couple on their journey on Instagram @pedalling-for-pp-awareness. To donate to their cause, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ride-for-recovery.


t: 01305830999

e: bradley.white@newsquest.co.uk

Twitter: @DorsetEchoBrad