David shines light on Sheffield lifeline service

Samaritans biker David Exley with some of his supporting riders, volunteers from the Sheffield branch and support from Sheffield Tigers speedway team
Samaritans biker David Exley with some of his supporting riders, volunteers from the Sheffield branch and support from Sheffield Tigers speedway team
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volunteers in Sheffield welcomed a special guest as he roared in to the city as part of a 6,000-mile trek.

Motorcyclist David Exley - who has lost two close family members to suicide – is raising awareness of the Samaritans with his journey between the charity’s branches.

He called in at Sheffield’s branch, where he was greeted by volunteers from the lifeline service, on Sunday.

Motorcyclists from the city and Chesterfield also joined him on the journey.

Ian Stuart, spokesman for the branch, said: “The whole event went really well.

“There were about 20 motorcyclists who turned up with David, some from Chesterfield where he called before and others from Sheffield Speedway team where a member sponsors the Samaritans.

“We hold an awareness day every year but I don’t think we’ve done anything as different or as ambitious as this before.

“David is covering 7,000 miles and visiting 200 branches in his mission.

“In Sheffield he was welcomed by some volunteers.”

David, aged 64, is biking around the UK and Ireland until August 20 to raise awareness of the Samaritans and highlight its 24-hour service.

He is also completing the ride in memory of his brother Tim who committed suicide 24 years ago and son James, who killed himself in 2007.

David said: “I really hope my challenge will mean more people are aware of the support Samaritans offers.

“That way, some good can come out of what has been a very difficult time.”

Peter Eyre from Sheffield Samaritans accompanied David into the city.