A COUPLE have completed a 2,500-mile fundraising bike ride to raise awareness of a serious mental health illness condition - and thousands of pounds to support those suffering with it.

Jude and Simon Hill cycled from Lands End, in Cornwall to John O’Groats and back to raise funds and awareness for postpartum psychosis.

Mr and Mrs Hill, previously of Beaminster, experienced postpartum psychosis first hand when their daughter Emily suffered with 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 one and two in every 1,000 UK mothers.

The couple's bike ride has already raised almost £4,000 for the charity, Action on Postpartum Psychosis, a national charity which supports those affected by the condition.

Speaking about the epic trip, Mr Hill said: “It was really good experience all in all. The weather was pretty grim and we rode through a few storms but I’m very glad we did it.

“It was by far the most challenging ride we’ve done but it was so fantastic to see the whole journey from the bicycle saddle. It’s fascinating to see how the landscape changes as you go along."

The couple said the majority of people they had come into contact with had never heard of PP, so raising awareness of the condition was just as important to them as raising money.

Mrs Hill added: “It was fantastic that people were so interested because so few people have heard of PP. It never took long for people to take a compassionate interest and they were often very appreciative of being told about it. We got to see that awareness open people’s minds.

“The money is fantastic and will help a very worthy, small charity but the main thing for us was to raise awareness. I wish I had known about it before I came across it.”

It was a turbulent start to their journey as they took off on August 25, as Storm Francis began to batter the UK. They reached John O'Groats on September 19 and returned home on October 7.

Along the way, the couple even managed to visit all five of their children, who were all brought up in Beaminster but are now dotted around the country, in Cumbria, Yorkshire and Scotland, along with two still in Somerset.

To donate to Mr and Mrs Hill's cause, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ride-for-recovery