His late mum Jo and St Ann’s Hospice counsellor Hazel Wilcock, who helped him cope with his grief and who also died, will be uppermost in his thoughts. So too close friend Jamie Horrocks, from Irlam, whose family set up a trust after he took his own life in 2013.
Their memories will be honoured when Neil attempts a 2,000-mile journey from Lisbon back to his home in Salford, including a major detour south to Gibraltar!
Using his trusty black bike, Neil hopes to complete his poignant ride in two weeks and raise funds for St Ann’s and the trust which bears Jamie’s name.
Days after mum Jo died of cancer in 2017 in the care of the St Ann’s Hospice @Home team, Neil received bereavement support from Hazel, the charity’s senior counsellor.
Hazel was inspirational and changed my life, helping me through the darkest times I've faced in terms of grief, mental health and depression. I'm half way through a podiatry degree at Salford University and wouldn't be doing that without Hazel. This challenge is a tribute to my mum, Hazel and Jamie. Mum had wanted to stay at home and St Ann's were very forthcoming, offering support to cater for her needs and wishes. The Jamie Horrocks trust highlights the importance of getting support, talking and normalising conversations around mental health. Neil Williamson