Chris Parr, 2022 BBC Environmental Award winner and social entrepreneur from Burslem, is to set off on a 2,000 mile cycle ride at the end of this month, raising funds for MIND, and showing that activity and creativity can help with feelings of poor mental health, isolation and loneliness.
Chris is a ‘recycling artist’. You may have seen his bottle kiln shaped planters placed in many locations across Stoke-on-Trent, all made from reclaimed pallet wood. His work celebrates Stoke’s pottery industry and industrial heritage.
The ‘Man in Notion’ challenge will see Chris engaging with many communities along his route. He will lead workshops in the valleys of South Wales, Dundee, Brighton, and St Austell, where groups will create artworks focusing on their own local heritage.
Chris said: ”Inspired by Port Vale’s Golden Valiants, a community group which tackles social isolation and loneliness in the elderly, I’ll be starting my physical and mental health challenge on March 29th, raising funds for MIND.
“I’ll be helping more people to get creative and make other products from recycled pallet wood. Most importantly, showing that activity and creativity can help with feelings of poor mental health, isolation and loneliness.
“I’ll be carrying a small bag of woodwork tools, a puncture repair kit, and a pocket full of pop songs and rock ballads to keep me company.
“Using the national cycle routes through villages, towns and cities, the journey will take me to many destinations, discovering heritage and places of interest, learning about local legends and working with communities making a difference to their own environment.
“Make no mistake, this challenge will be very difficult with a few highs and many lows. The activity, after some much needed rest, recovery and create days, will benefit my own mental health and that of others who participate in the workshops.
“So if I can endure 50 days working through the emotional and physical resilience, pedalling 2000 miles to recycle pallets across England, Wales and Scotland while overcoming social isolation and loneliness, then my journey and story can inspire and motivate others to navigate through their own personal commute and challenges too.”
Chris’ webpage about the challenge can be viewed here:
His fundraising page for MIND Charity can be viewed here: