Chantry Wellness Group cycling between 44 Suffolk Libraries
11:30 a.m. April 18, 2022
An epic 300 mile cycling trip is planned for a group of men from Ipswich, who want to raise money for Suffolk Libraries and promote Mental Health Awareness Week.
The idea of cycling between the county’s 44 libraries came about after Corrin Eaton, a founding member of the Men Can Talk social group at Chantry Library, wanted to do something to help the venue that houses the support group.
He and the team will embark on a three-day round trip of cycling and camping, starting at Chantry Library on Saturday May 7 and passing through all the libraries around Suffolk before returning directly to their starting point.
The challenge coincides with the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, which begins May 9.
Mr Eaton said: “I hadn’t realized how much libraries do for the community and how important fundraising is. I know from experience now how important they are.
“We discussed the idea of getting as many miles as possible on an exercise bike and a rowing machine in the library.
“Then I had an even crazier idea – we calculated how many miles there were between all the libraries in Suffolk, so I thought, why not take on a cycling challenge through Suffolk?
“I compete professionally in martial arts but my gym is in London so I miss it and needed a new challenge. This is my new fight.
“It will be tough but I have a good team behind me and I’m looking forward to it.”
Vicki Mann, Chantry’s library manager, said: “It’s been nice to see how much the group has grown and how much the men have supported each other. The feedback we’re getting is amazing.
“The group is very diverse and the men are all at different stages of life and at different ages.
“I was told that a member really looked up to an older man because he was someone he could learn from as a role model.
“It was also very insightful to read some comments about how men really feel and how society can impact male wellbeing.
“This is just one example of the many ways we can help people at just one of our libraries.
“What we do can have a very positive impact on people’s wellbeing and I hope people will support Corrin and his team so Suffolk Libraries can do even more to help people.”
Alex Hammond, one of the band members and a member of the team supporting Corrin’s fundraising challenge, added: “The band has changed my life, it’s a place I go every week to try to give back to the community.
“It’s a safe space that’s open to any men who might need a helping hand or a place to talk.
“The band is a place where you can say what you feel without being judged and you can be yourself.”
Suffolk Libraries thanked sponsors Inchcape BMW Ipswich for providing the support vehicle, and The Hollies in Kessingland and Ling’s Meadow in Diss for providing campsites.
You can support Corrin’s journey by donating on the fundraising page or by visiting the Chantry Library, where you can add miles and donations by using the exercise bikes at the library.